Edmonds nurse practitioner who fosters 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.

Tuesday’s regular Edmonds noon Rotary meeting was anything but regular.

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

Rotarian Amie Armstrong spearheaded the group who conceived 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 in Edmonds, but who embody Rotary values in their job and their lives,” explained Rotarian Amie Armstrong, who headed up the group tasked with creating this entirely new recognition category.

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

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 vastly diminished workload. Rather than have them sit idle, he asked them to volunteer in the community, essentially paying them to do something important that would help the city remain vibrant through the challenges of COVID.

Award recipient Terra Mangum is flanked by co-worker Dr. Soraya Chanyasubkit (on her left, with whom she thought she’d have a quiet lunch) and Rotarian Amie Armstrong.

“And this is just one example,” Armstrong added.  “We have a better community because of him —  and come to think of it, Europe is probably better off too!”

Rick Steves next took the podium to present the award.

“I’m really excited to have my name on an award that recognizes someone who both works hard for their employer and also uses their passion, talents and care to the betterment of the community,” he began. “I don’t want to be a shill for an award that merely recognizes folks 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 self – and I’m glad to report that we’ve found the perfect recipient. I am truly honored to announce that the first Rick Steves Service Above Self award goes to Terra Mangum.”

Terra Mangum hold up her award certificate

An Edmonds native and nurse with a doctorate in adolescent medicine, Mangum has worked for the past decade as a nurse practitioner at Virginia Mason Medicine (formerly Edmonds Family Medicine) just across the street and down the block from her alma mater, Edmonds-Woodway High School. In addition to working at her job, Terra and husband Zack have found their own personal mission, opening their home to adolescents who otherwise would have nowhere to live.

“I can’t think of anything more heroic than taking an adolescent into your home”  quipped Steves.  “It’s a perfect example of service above self.”

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

Terra Mangum tell the Rotarians how she was lured to the meeting with a promise of lunch with a friend, and that the award was a complete surprise.

“Over the past five years, Zack and I have shared our home with 25 young people between 5 and 19 years old,” she explained. “We’ve found our personal mission in focusing on kids who have a tough time being placed in foster care — like teens. We’re passionate about changing the statistics on fosters – most don’t attend college, and many don’t graduate high school. We’ve had up to five fosters in our home at one time, and this is in addition to our own two ‘bio kids’ Aria (2.5 years) and Soren (13 months). And we’re currently in the process of adopting Noor, one of our fosters who’s now 22 years old.  This work has become our life. We’ve remodeled our home to accommodate everyone, taught four teens to drive, and had a high school grad every year.

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

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

    1. Terra, congratulations! You’re work both in clinic, and at home, is very inspiring. Thank you for all that you do.

    1. Congrats, Terra.
      My wife and I loved what you are doing. You both are truly deserving of all the good things that happen….thank you to Edmonds Rotary and Mr. Steve’s.

  1. Congratulations Terra!!! What you and your family has done for these young people is both priceless and very challenging work! God bless you. And I recognize you as the daughter of our beloved former mailman, Todd Hoover. Your parents must be so pleased with this recognition!

  2. Congratulations, Terra, on behalf of your colleagues who couldn’t be more proud of you! You’re a great example for all of us.

  3. Good on Rotary and Mr. Steves honoring this special lady in such a great way. Honoring people for just being great people; doing good things makes a lot of sense in this all too crazy world.

  4. Congratulations, Terra. Kindness and caring weaves wondrous miracles. It’s an unexpected joy when those qualities are recognized and cited by the community. Shine on.

  5. Congratulations Terra, Yes you do deserve this. Very selfless of you. Thank you from me just part of the community. I like the sash, tiara and sign in your yard idea. Way to be.

  6. Congratulations, Terra! You have always had incredible energy and passion for all that you do. I’m proud to have worked with you for so many years and the Edmonds community has benefited greatly from your service. Well deserved honor!

  7. Terra, as a Rotarian for over 50 years, and the past president of Northwest University (I’m sorry I was not there when you were a student) I want to extend my CONGRATULATIONS for this award. You certainly epitomize what it is all about. I’m proud of you and your service for others.

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