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Heather Flynn came to Alaska 50 years ago, a time of great opportunity and change in Alaska. Immediately she became involved with education and social change through Head Start, Community Action, the League of Women Voters and the Anchorage School District.
Flynn taught junior high, engaging students in world cultures and social responsibility. She challenged the outdated maternity policy and soon after gave birth to two children.
Flynn was elected to the school board in 1975, the same year Anchorage adopted a new Charter that she had helped develop.
As a school board member, Flynn worked diligently in Juneau for improved funding not only for Anchorage, but for the newly created rural school districts.
Flynn served 10 years on the Anchorage Assembly, half that time as only woman. Known for thorough preparation, she excelled in budget and finance, planning and zoning and utilities.
Flynn was the director of Alaska Women’s Resource Center (AWRC) and the Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC). Her knowledge, passion and advocacy for women and children, and tenacious fund raising, grew and stabilized both organizations.
Throughout her professional endeavors, including UAA Adult Learning Center and a college foundation, she was deeply committed to volunteer efforts primarily impacting women and children. Among others, she served the YWCA, Alaska Community Foundation, Equal Rights Commission, Alaska Public Media, Planned Parenthood, Anchorage Opera, Anchorage Museum and Campfire.
Once asked to fill in the blank, “If I had all the time and money in the world, I would______.” Reply: “I would give away both.” After retirement, Flynn continues her activism in immunization and educational programs that have taken her around the globe. Her passion is philanthropy. She commits 50% of her gross earnings to her passions, the charities of her choice, and trains and encourages others to engage in personal philanthropy.
Induction ceremony acceptance speech https://youtu.be/qpuJPShmLfA