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“Whether you want to be an artist, welder or small business owner, Fort McMurray will give you the opportunity to take the leap and fly.”

A polymath is someone with an exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge over many diverse subjects. It could very well be someone who teaches drama, as well as being a playwright and actor; who also is an advanced yoga instructor; someone who works as a youth engagement facilitator at Some Other Solutions and engages with the community on the subject of mental health.

Our polymath’s name is Pattie Dwyer. Born in Newfoundland, Pattie grew up in Manitoba before coming to YMM in 2002. “Fort McMurray is home,” she says, “It’s a community of opportunity. This city supports people who want to follow their dreams, whatever they may be.”

Pattie believes that Fort McMurray’s openness and capacity for enhancement has allowed her to work in so many fields and bring them all together under one roof in her job. As she says on the SOS website, she takes great pride in helping students to step into their own authenticity while awakening their purpose and passion, which in turn increases a belief in their own greatness.

“Whether I am working in the schools with the youth, in the yoga studio instructing workshops and classes, in the theatre coaching performing arts or in the community, teaching about mental health, I feel empowered. We can all learn from one another. Isolation leads to a narrow and limited perspective, while community brings people together.”

We should all feel so empowered. Like so many people on this list, Pattie leads a full and busy life. If just reading about her hard work and activities makes you tired, you’re not alone. Pattie Dwyer is a whirlwind, and a practical one at that. When asked how she would wield a magic wand for one regional wish, she said, “I would give all the people free solar panels to save money and use the power of the sun. It’s a forward-thinking idea for a forward-thinking community.”