Mike Angstadt's Consuelo Foundation Peer Reviewer Award Acceptance Speech

In his acceptance speech at COA's 2016 Conference, Consuelo Foundation Peer Reviewer Award Winner,  Mike Angstadt reminded us that no one is as smart or as strong as all of us together:

I am humbled to receive this award and so appreciative of the honor it bestows. Through COA I became cognizant of the life-changing work of the Consuelo Foundation. They support and operate programs that prevent and treat abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children, women, and families in the Philippines and Hawaii.

I have served on two site visit teams to review this remarkable Foundation and was blessed to meet Patti Lyons and experience firsthand the life-changing work that the Consuelo facilities through the Power of Collaboration.

This, of course if the theme of our conference. A cynic once stated that collaboration is an unnatural act carried on by two or more unwilling partners. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

I would not be standing before you today if team leaders had not mentored and nurtured me. Teaching me that what we do us the next right thing guided by our professional ethics, code of conduct, and one’s spiritual walk. And then we do the next right thing, and then the next, and then the next, knowing by doing so we are establishing generations of caregivers steeped in agape of love.

So I opened up my conference packet and found my name tag and three stripes of color: yellow as a volunteer, blue as a presenter, and green as a recipient of this award. Three distinct opportunities to serve and provide meaning. 

What are meaningful acts in this world? To my grandson Beck, it is to play when he smiles at me and says, “Ball”! To my 18 year old niece it was when my sister said, “You will be my Forever Family” and adopted Emily from an orphanage in Korea. To a teen mom it is when we say “I believe in you and know you will graduate High School,” giving her the greatest contraceptive of all, Hope! To the sexually abused child who is brought to our clinic for a forensic interview and treatment, it’s the care she receives and the knowledge that her abuser will be found and prevented from hurting another.

As I again thank my peers and my wife for standing by and supporting me in this work I would like to have you reflect on the power of collaboration; no one of us is as smart or as strong as all of us. Sisyphus, the tragic Greek figure who was condemned to push a boulder up a mountain day after day only to see it fall feet from the top and roll to the bottom failed because he did not ask for help and no one offered. As I see y’all out there I can’t possibly know the depth and breadth of services and help you provide to others. I do know however, together we will push the boulder of social ills over the top of the mountain creating a better, safer, healthier world. Thank you for all for your passion and service.

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