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Ackerman/Black Award honors professional for working with troubled children

October 12, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Much of this afternoon’s discussion at the NAADAC (National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) conference, revolved around the work being done to support children of alcoholics and drug addicts. NACoA, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, presented its Ackerman/Black Award (named after two NACoA founders, Claudia Black, PhD, and Robert J. Ackerman, PhD) to recognize a person who has also continuously worked for, and raised awareness about, children and families impacted by another’s alcohol or drug dependence.

Sis Wenger, President and CEO of NACoA, presented the award to Cheryl Watkins. Wenger described Watkins as “a quiet, lovely lady who didn’t shout like the rest of us did. She just kept quietly moving into systems.”

Watkins has focused her efforts around student assistance programs, not only on the West Coast, but also in Idaho, explained Wenger. She did this to “such an extent that profound data proving that her system worked came out of that state for years and was used to show an evidence-based high quality student assistance.”

Since that time, Watkins has traveled throughout the world to teach other countries about this concept. She recently returned from Pakistan, and previously went to Israel and across almost the entire country of Australia. Because of her work, the primary curriculum in the United Kingdom social work schools has incorporated a chapter on student assistance based on all of her work there.

To celebrate her “lifelong passion for helping troubled children and children in trouble because of addiction in their families,” Wenger asked the audience to join in recognizing Watkins as she presented the award.

Listen to the podcast below to hear what Watkins had to say about being honored with this award.

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