Bringing diversity to decision making

A life of experience has taught Tyler Murnaghan the value of making a difference.

Tyler’s father Kenneth Murnaghan leads the Brain Injury Association of PEI. His mother Tammy worked as an addictions counsellor and with the Red Cross in disaster relief.

“With the two of them so involved in the community it was impossible for me not to be community minded,” Tyler says. He has an extensive list of volunteer work on his resume, everything from Pride PEI to the Brain Injury Association. 

When the opportunity arose, the 22-year-old Charlottetown resident jumped at the chance – through Engage PEI -- to sit on the Youth Futures Council for Prince Edward Island. The Youth Futures Council is a province-wide advisory body that offers a voice for young Islanders on key issues.  Through Engage PEI Islanders are invited to apply to serve on more than 70 provincial government agencies, boards, and commissions.

“I saw this opportunity to make a real change to affect people’s lives,” said Murnaghan, who wants to see Island youth stay in the province to find employment. He wants the province to have the best education system possible.

Bringing diversity to the decision making tables is also what drives him.

“You can’t make a decision for somebody unless you’ve walked in their shoes, he said. “The more diverse our opinions, the better our decision making can be.”

He came out as gay at age 15 when he was leaving junior high, one of very few kids who was out at that time. Good friends and supportive parents made the process better for him, but he knows how difficult coming out is for some kids. That understanding drove him to help lead the charge to establish a now-thriving youth drop in centre through Pride PEI.

“I never wanted a kid to feel alone and have no one to talk to and no place to go,” he said.

Growing up, he developed a strong work ethic. “I was that eight-year-old kid selling pucks and fudge to raise money for the Red Cross.”

He was a successful entrepreneur in the Young Millionaires program selling Tyler’s Temptations healthy snacks. He graduated Colonel Grey with honours and studied business administration at Holland College. He worked in communications for the provincial NDP and even ran for a seat on city council in the 2014 municipal election.

To learn more about which agency, board or commission may fit your interests, contact Engage PEI

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