Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s Tenth Woman of Inspiration Presented by Syncrude Announced

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the tenth nominee for the Women of Inspiration series:

Vincella Thompson

Vincella has lived in Fort McMurray for over 30 years. She worked as an elementary school teacher for 17 years, and then as a Behaviour Specialist in private practice supporting children with disabilities and their families. Vincella and her family were instrumental in starting the Fort McMurray Christian School where her three children attended during their elementary years, and she was first principal. The Christian School began with just 7 students and today has over 130.

Vincella earned her Master’s degree in Education with a Specialization in Special Education at San Diego State University, and a PhD in Education with Training and Performance Improvement from Capella University. She has recently been involved in research projects involving student use of technology in this post-secondary institution, and she recently presented her findings at the International conference on Education in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her current research involves student mental health and wellbeing in the post- secondary institution.

Vincella is the Chair of the University Studies, Arts, Education and Social Sciences Department at Keyano College. She is responsible for helping those with teaching aspirations reach their educational goals of obtaining a Bachelor of Education while staying right here in Fort McMurray. Vincella is the ‘go-to’ for almost everything related to the program – she recruits and helps students get accepted, she is the touchstone for the U of A instructors that are flown up weekly, and she is a counselor to students who feel overwhelmed or stressed out by their course load and the pressures of student life.

In the past Vincella has served on the provincial Board of Directors for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo and the Alberta Division of Canadian Mental Health, where she was awarded the 2012 Bettie Hewes Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. She currently chairs the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association here in Wood Buffalo, serves as the Treasurer of the Wood Buffalo Youth Science Foundation, is Vice President of the Board of Directors for Living Faith Bible College in Caroline Alberta, and serves on the Board of Directors for Hope Christ Ministries here in Fort McMurray. In addition, she serves as a Pastor on Call for the Children’s Ministries at McMurray Gospel Assembly and facilitates a weekly Ladies Bible Study.

Over the course of her 30 years in Fort McMurray, Vincella has had 23 different individuals live in her home for different periods of time. Some of these people were complete strangers who needed help to get on their feet, some were continuing their own educations, and some just needed a place to stay for a while. Vincella opened her home selflessly, never charging rent and insisting only on helping them succeed.

Vincella believes strongly in education and in giving back to the community through various means of service, and her 30 years in Fort McMurray have been a shining example of this belief – she is truly a Woman of Inspiration.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Vincella, and eleven other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place on June 1 2013.

The Women of Inspiration Series 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 positive change. The series also aims to show local girls positive role models who live right here.

For more information about the Women of Inspiration series, and tickets to the celebration event, please visit our website, or contact the Girls Inc. office at 780-790-9236.