Edmonds Nurse Practitioner Empowering Teens recipient of Rotary’s Rick Steves Service Above Self Award

Rick Steves and Terra Mangum, recipient of the inaugural Rotary Rick Steves Service Above Self Award, at Tuesday’s presentation ceremony.

The regular Tuesday noon Rotary meeting in Edmonds was anything but regular.

The highlight was the surprise presentation of the brand new Rick Steves Service Above Self Award to a community worker.

Rotarian Amie Armstrong led the group that designed the award and decided to name it in honor of Rick Steves.

“We wanted to create an award to recognize people who not only work at Edmonds, but who embody the values ​​of Rotary in their work and in their lives,” said Rotarian Amie Armstrong, who led the group responsible for creating this entire new category of recognition.

“The idea of ​​the award came first,” she continued. “But then we needed a name – something that would reflect the spirit of interconnectedness between a person’s work/professional life and their passion for doing good in the community. Then someone suggested naming the award for Rick Steves, and it seemed natural. Rick not only runs his business here, he uses it as a platform to make the community a better place for everyone.

She pointed to the recent example of how Steves, founder of Rick Steves Europe, kept his office staff on the payroll during the pandemic despite a significantly reduced workload. Rather than letting them sit idle, he asked them to volunteer in the community, essentially paying them to do something important that would help the city stay vibrant in the face of the challenges of COVID.

The Terra Mangum award recipient is flanked by her colleague Dr Soraya Chanyasubkit (to her left, with whom she thought she was having a quiet lunch) and Rotarian Amie Armstrong.

“And that’s just one example,” Armstrong added. “We have a better community because of him – and thinking about it, Europe is probably better off for it too!”

Rick Steves then took to the podium to present the award.

“I’m so thrilled to have my name on an award that recognizes someone who works hard for their employer and uses their passion, talents and caring for the good of the community,” he began. “I don’t want to be an accomplice for an award that just recognizes people who work hard for their boss. I want my name on an award that recognizes people who work hard to make their community a better place, who put community above themselves – and I’m happy to report that we’ve found the perfect recipient. I am truly honored to announce that the inaugural Rick Steves Service Above Self Award goes to Terra Mangum.

Terra Mangum holds up his award certificate

A native of Edmonds and a nurse with a doctorate in medicine as a teenager, Mangum has worked for the past decade as a nurse practitioner at Virginia Mason Medicine (formerly Edmonds Family Medicine) right across from her alma mater , Edmonds-Woodway High School. Along with working at her job, Terra and her husband Zack have found their own personal mission, opening their home to teenagers who otherwise would have nowhere to live.

“I can’t think of anything more heroic than taking a teenager home,” Steves joked. “It’s a perfect example of service above self.”

Then it was Mangum’s turn to tell his story.

Terra Mangum tells Rotarians how she was lured into the meeting by the promise of lunch with a friend, and the prize came as a complete surprise.

“Over the past five years, Zack and I have shared our home with 25 kids between the ages of 5 and 19,” she explained. “We have found our personal mission by focusing on children who find it difficult to be placed in foster care, such as teenagers. We are passionate about changing the statistics on foster homes – most don’t attend college and many don’t graduate from high school. We’ve had up to five foster homes in our home at a time, and that’s in addition to our two ‘bio children’ Aria (2.5) and Soren (13 months). And we are currently in the process of adopting Noor, one of our fosters who is now 22 years old. This work has become our life. We remodeled our house to accommodate everyone, taught four teenagers to drive, and had a high school graduate every year.

“I’ve lived in Edmonds all my life and I love this place,” she concluded. “This award is a total surprise – I came here today thinking I was meeting a friend for lunch! I’m so honored to have been chosen for this award. I’m shocked – I just don’t know what to say.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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