Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 10th Woman of Inspiration 2015-2016 Presented by Syncrude Announced

March 2016

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 10th Woman of Inspiration 2015-2016 Presented by Syncrude Announced

(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 10th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2015-2016:

Samra Ilyas

Samra Ilyas has called Fort McMurray home for 8 years. She moved to Canada from England and is the Program Delivery Supervisor for Alberta Works/Employment and Financial Supports division in the Ministry of Human Services. Samra’s compassion and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients is appreciated by all. Her client group includes individuals with multiple barriers such as mental health or medical health issues preventing them from working, single parents struggling to make ends meet, individuals fleeing abusive relationships or those involved with the justice system. All of her clients benefit from her non -judgemental, compassionate attitude. Her desire ‘to help’ is incessant. One client stated “the permanent effects I suffer from are acute. Major depression and migraine headaches have left me helpless, and bi-polar episodes have resulted in my family nicknaming me Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I know that I am not always easy to deal with, but I finally got the help I needed when I met Samra.” “Samra has empowered me to follow through on matters related to everything from low-income assistance to finding a local doctor. She has acted as an advocate on my behalf and gone beyond to work with me, ensuring my safety and well-being. She is an inspiration and a role model.” This client has gone on to become an active member of the community, advocating for others who need help.

Not satisfied to help in her professional life, Samra is actively involved in her community and gives countless hours championing for social services agencies, diversity and equality for all. She has been a founding member of the Collaboration for Religious Inclusion, an avid volunteer for the Islamic Centre of the Fort McMurray Northern Lights Sisters’ Association, the centre’s woman’s group. She can be found front and centre in organizing food bank drives and her team was successful in collecting over 5000 lbs of food donations. She is involved with the Municipality Adopt A Road program, loves to arrange volunteer activities at the hospital for seniors, and many other community initiatives.

She benefits her community through her leadership and energy. Her positive attitude, enthusiasm is exemplary whether it be through promoting the understanding of the Hijab or through her volunteer activities, her commitment to the community certainly identifies her as a woman of inspiration for others.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Samra and 11 other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place in June, 2016

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