Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta 10th Woman of Inspiration 2013-2014 Presented by Syncrude Announced

March 2014

(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 10th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2013-2014:

Verna Murphy

Verna Murphy is a freelance writer in Fort McMurray, tackling what many would call contentious issues for women, including those such as single parenting, health issues and suicide.  Having written many articles and blogs on numerous topics, the pieces that have had the most impact are those articles that share her experiences of being a mother and wife while living in the active city of Fort McMurray. She has shared her fears of moving here, and the impacts it has had on her life, marriage and children.  Her articles have encouraged many women to make the move up here and were instrumental in creating the close knit support group where women can share and discuss various issues over coffee, at the schools and in social media.

In Verna’s articles, she is relentless in holding those accountable on the political stage.  She has the ability to take a topic, investigate, and put to words the thoughts that are far reaching. She receives so many compliments from those in the community; some of those issues being as simple as the awareness for clothes for the homeless, or some as complicated as the plight of our seniors here in Fort McMurray.

Verna has exposed the real need for fostering and caring in our community. Verna is an advocate for all those who are homeless or disadvantaged in our community, and shares the hardships they face by putting a spotlight on the programs that are needed in our community. To help with the need, she leads the way in being a foster mother herself, and continues to reach out to others and encourage them to pick up that torch with her. She has fostered over 12 children since moving to Fort McMurray and made the lifelong commitment of adopting one of those foster children.

Many people wouldn’t know that Verna has overcome some large obstacles in her life. At the age of 19 she was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, and was not expected to live a long and productive life. She faced that challenge, endured a bone marrow transplant, and continues to live a fulfilling life. Her difficult experience gave her wisdom and a perspective of life beyond her years, and she shares that with everyone – as a cancer survivor, a mother that was told she would never be, and as a person with a unique view and feeling for life.

Verna has the ability to have women and girls believe in what she feels and shares. She lives it with them, and moves women to not be afraid and to challenge themselves through all the obstacles they may face in life. In many respects she is a voice for all women in Fort McMurray especially to those who have none.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Verna and 11 other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place June 14th, 2014 at the Sawridge Hotel.

The Women of Inspiration is a partnership between Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude, with a goal to recognize women throughout the Wood Buffalo region who inspire others, break new ground or old barriers and help create change. The series also aims to show local girls positive role models who live right here.

To nominate a woman of inspiration, please visit our website at or contact the Girls Inc. office at 780-790-9236.

For more information, please contact:

Ann Dort-MacLean
Executive Director
Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Phone: 780-790-9236