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Girls Inc., Inducts Five Community Leaders to their Women of Inspiration Series

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The timing was perfect, and the line-up even better. Girls Inc., of Northern Alberta inducted five local community leaders to their prestigious Women of Inspiration series on March 7, 2020 - just in time for International Women’s Day. The gala event, which was presented by Bouchier was held at the Fort McMurray Golf Club with Mandy Harvey of America’s Got Talent fame as the feature performer for the capacity crowd.

Karla Buffalo, Purva Sharma, Shannon Noble, Michelle Farrow, and Caitlin Downie were inducted into the series for their community advocacy, and multiple contributions to the region.

A proud member of the Fort Chipewyan Dene First Nations, Buffalo is the CEO of the Athabasca Tribal Council; Sharma is the owner of Rajasthan Creations by Purva, a home-based Indian clothing boutique; Noble is the Associate Superintendent, Inclusive Education for the Fort McMurray Public School Division; Farrow is the Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club and Downie is the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Supervisor, Neighbourhood and Community Development. These ladies go above and beyond their day jobs to make our city a better place for everyone – every day.

Nicole Bouchier, CEO, Bouchier Group – the event’s presenting sponsor dubbed the series “everything our community is wonderful for.”

“The Women of Inspiration program recognizes women who are our heroes. They are strong, resilient, passionate, and inspirational to all of us. Congratulations to all of you,” Bouchier enthused.

Mandy Harvey, America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer winner by Simon Cowell shared her inspiring story of overcoming obstacles after losing her hearing.

“You have to stop asking ‘what can go wrong?’ Ask, ‘what can go right?’ Answer: Everything. I spend eight to 10 hours just working on speaking clearly so that you can understand me – I do it because I have love for other people; and I want my life to have meaning, to be an impact in the way I know how. Music is my way.”

Girls Incorporated of Northern Alberta is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. The group has been in the region since 1979. The Women of Inspiration series was founded in 2012 with 77 women honoured to date.

Nominations for the 2021 Women of Inspiration series will open later this month. Check the group’s website for updates.


Kiran Malik-Khan is the Communications Manager for the Fort McMurray Public School District, and national award-winning communications professional. She is a freelance journalist, a communications professional, and a poet. She loves sharing stories about unique people, events, and organizations. Kiran is the co-founder and volunteer public relations director for NorthWord magazine, Fort McMurray's first and only literary magazine. She is also the President/Co-founder of World Hijab Day Fort McMurray. A proud Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in New Jersey, she is a fierce advocate of Fort McMurray, multiculturalism, women's rights, and equality for all. Got a story nobody is telling? Send her ideas: DM and follow on Twitter @KiranMK0822.