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Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 5th Woman of Inspiration 2017-2018 Presented by Syncrude Announced

October 2017

(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 5th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2017-2018:

Linda Mywaart

Originally from Lacombe, Alberta, Linda first visited Fort McMurray in July 1981 for 4 weeks of volunteer work with a church team. This volunteer work included community service like painting, babysitting, summer programs for children and more. Linda was 11 years old when she began volunteering. What started as something her parents modelled and encouraged became a life style for her and one she looks forward to teaching her grandchildren. While in McMurray in 1981 Linda met her now husband and the couple returned to Fort McMurray in 1982 to start their life together here. She and her family have called Fort McMurray home for more than 35 years.

Ms. Mywaart is the Chair of the Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) Board of Trustees. An agent for change not only for the School District, but for the region, Linda believes in having a vision and following it through with positivity. Her patience and fortitude to continue supporting projects despite obstacles, has led to significant milestones in the community. One great example is her consistent advocacy for seniors. Ms. Mywaart chairs the Advisory Committee on Aging.

“Our work is focused on making The RMWB more age-friendly, as we strive for a designation in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and communities (GNAFCC)”” We have built relationships and awareness of successes and challenges facing seniors and will continue to do so. We are proud of the senior parking signs recently installed at RMWB facilities around the region as just one example of something we’ve done. We are part of the team currently working towards the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre. We suggested and emphasized the importance of having the Aboriginal Affairs Department, and they were invited to be at the table. The historical and cultural components of the facility and the region are critically important,” she adds.

Ms. Mywaart is an avid volunteer and set up a Neighbourhood Watch in Saprae Creek and is a volunteer for the Wood Buffalo Food Bank – and is often seen front and centre at various food drives with her husband. Along with her dog, Linda works as a visiting team for PAWS (Pets for Wellness). She has been working with this group for 7 years and coordinated the group under the SPCA for a few of those years, which included training and mentoring new teams. During this time, she helped secure a program partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association. PAWS for People went on to branch out in the community and can be seen at the airport, Keyano College and in schools.

Re-elected this October, Linda became an FMPSD trustee in 2010 and for 19 years has been committed to education at various schools levels.  She has been a school council member, school council chair, volunteered in the classroom, school athletics, music, field trips, and special events.  A reliable voice for students, she truly believes in “Doing What’s Best for Kids,” and articulates this at every board meeting.

Ms. Mywaart volunteers for 91.1 The Bridge at community events. She has also volunteered in her church for over three decades as a music teacher/coordinator, piano player, youth leader, Sunday School teacher and woman’s study leader.

Ms. Mywaart harnesses the power of social media well to highlight all of her causes. Her tweets and Facebook posts are illustrative of her love for the region.

Her impact on young girls and women comes from her self-confidence and her strong belief in learning while leading.

“I want young girls to know it’s important to be true to yourself. I was bullied in high school because I was academically strong and wanted to achieve. However, I didn’t let it hold me down for too long. I chose to be myself, to remain strong and remain steadfast on what I believed in, which charted the course of my current leadership lifestyle. I want young girls to stand strong and tall, know who you are. Always be willing to learn new things; the best leaders are also followers. And, always be kind; speak the kind truth.”

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Linda and 11 other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place in June, 2018.

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 www.girlsincofnorthernalberta.org 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   Email: girlsinc@telus.net

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