Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta Women of Inspiration Series
Since the beginning of time women have been making huge contributions within their families, their workplaces, their communities and the world. Locally, there has been a real need to recognize Wood Buffalo’s hard working, critical thinking, intelligent and inspirational women. Women who challenge gender roles in the workplace and at home, women who break boundaries for the greater good in their communities, and women who do what it takes to help the causes they’re passionate about. These are the type of women that are recognized and celebrated through the Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta Women of Inspiration Series, presented by Syncrude. The overall goal of Women of Inspiration is 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 in our communities.
Cheryl Golosky was born and raised in Fort McMurray, where she graduated from Father Mercredi High School and then earned her Business Diploma from Keyano College. She worked in the finance occupation for a while, but in 1991, Cheryl decided to make a drastic career change and returned to College to study at the Emergency Medical Technician program at Portage College in Lac La Biche. Once complete, Cheryl applied with the Fort McMurray Fire Department and became the first female EMT-A/Firefighter within the RMWB. As the only female working in a male dominated field, there were definitely some challenges; however, her commitment and passion for the job soon earned her the respect of her peers. Cheryl has paved the way for women in the field, and the fire department now has 12 women employed on the front line. Amidst all of her success, Cheryl was told that she had Stage 4 non-curable cancer and that she should get her affairs in order. After seventeen years with the fire department, Cheryl took a medical retirement to be with her family and pursue treatment. Today she is living with cancer on her own terms.
Theresa Wells is well known within the community for promoting Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo region through her various freelance writing pursuits, including being a regular contributor to Huffington Post Alberta, YMM Magazine, North Word and Connect Weekly. In her role as Communications Coordinator at the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo she works to promote excellence in sport and recreation throughout all the facilities under that organization, and ensures the community is kept informed of upcoming events and programs. As the mother of a young daughter, Theresa is particularly drawn to events and activities that affect not only her daughter but also other young women in our region. She has served on parent council at Beacon Hill Public School and Ecole McTavish Junior High School, and continues to actively contribute to the schools in the community through her advocacy for their events and causes. Theresa has since become a permanent feature in the media pool at events big and small treating each event with her true nature of honesty and compassion for the cause they represent.
Flor Connors has shown generosity and hard work in making Fort McMurray a better place. As the Executive Director of the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre, her main initiative is to improve the lives of urban Aboriginal people within the community. One of the issues in the community that Flo concentrates on is homelessness. She has spent time developing programs to help the disadvantaged survive Fort McMurray’s chilly temperatures by providing them a warm place during the day, supplying them with meals, and by acquiring winter gear such as gloves and hats. She has spent time helping them with job search on the internet, as well as making television available to them to keep them aware of current events and up to date on what is going on in the world. Flor has also helped to develop youth and elder programming at the Nistawoyou. Twice a week, youth and elders take advantage of the chance to socialize with each other in a safe environment. Through Flor’s leadership, members have been given the opportunity to explore their artistic talents and express themselves through art, while also connecting with each other and sharing.
For a complete list of the Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta Women of Inspiration nominees presented by Syncrude, or to nominate a woman who has been an inspiration to you, please visit www.girlsincofnorthernalberta.org