Nika shares her message of hope and endurance with education, business, and church groups. Audiences respond to her humorous and heartfelt stories with warmth and enthusiasm. Almost everyone walks away with a renewed sense of purpose.
Join us at the Newly Renovated Civic Center in Holland. Not only do we get to recognize individuals who promote inclusion but also the opportunity to see the New Holland Civic Center.
The Holland Civic Center is located at:
150 W 8th St, Holland, MI.
The Ability Award began in 2011 as a way to honor Disability Network/ Lakeshore's Founding Director, Ruth Stegeman, who served in the organization's leadership for two decades. During her career with Disability Network/ Lakeshore, Ruth had a strong passion to advocate for inclusive communities for people with disabilities.
The Ability Award was created to honor and perpetuate that spirit by recognizing people in our community who share the same passion and are making progress in the advancement of creating inclusive communities. Each year, as Ability Award recipients are awarded, we hope that the recognition of their efforts will inspire others to take action.
As the father of an adult daughter with multiple severe disabilities and as the director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Mark has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and churches in the United States and Canada. Twelve years ago, he created the vision statement “everybody belongs, everybody serves” as the guiding philosophy for himself and the churches he serves. He is the author of several award-winning print and digital publications and has been active a variety of community organizations serving people with disabilities.
“In a healthy community, belonging encompasses hospitality, but it’s broader than that. Churches need to work with intention to eliminate barriers to participation of people with disabilities, including barriers of attitude, communication, and the built environment. And, people need to be valued for the contributions they make to the community’s life. They need not just to belong, but to serve. I read nothing in the Bible that gives people with disabilities a pass from this call to serve, nor do I read that churches are welcome to ignore the gifts that people with disabilities bring.”