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Patrick Atkinson
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A family man who's love for his son Ernesto is exceeded only by his love for God, Atkinson was born and raised in Bismarck, ND.

He is certainly a man who defies categories, labels, and professions. His skills, vitality, and unqualified commitment to the poor have crossed continents and hemispheres, and have awakened tens of thousands of American citizens to the plight of the developing world’s poor.

Midway through college, in 1981 he accepted an extended Social Work internship in New York City’s dangerous Hell’s Kitchen district, where he worked with street gangs, prostitutes, the homeless, and drug addicts.

Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Minnesota State University Moorhead, Atkinson refused several lucrative corporate job offers to work with the homeless and the disadvantaged.

He has a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, where he is adjunct faculty. He is currently working on his PhD in Organizational Management.

Atkinson is an active speaker across the United States, and has been interviewed for CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, San Diego Union Tribune, Chicago Tribune, NBC, Telemundo, Public Radio, and numerous national and regional print and broadcast media outlets.

He is the holder of various patents and patents-pending, and the recipient of nearly 100 national and international health, education, and human rights awards.

At the request of the Guatemalan government, local business, and individuals who are homeless, Atkinson recently accepted the responsibilities to fundraise for, build, and design the program methodology for the Santa Madre Homeless Shelter of Antigua Guatemala.

He has paid a heavy price for his commitment to the poor. In the past 20 years he has been mugged on the streets of New York City, blasted from his bed in a car bomb explosion in El Salvador, shot at in Guatemala, twice knifed, and had his hand crushed and broken in Eastern Africa. He has been ill with malaria on four different occasions and hepatitis twice. He has contracted countless infections with parasites and tropical diseases.

He has been on a US Embassy-recommended safety watch after pursuing the investigation of a clandestine cemetery that he discovered, and again after directing the prosecution of a violent street gang in Guatemala.

He very recently founded The Crying Hill Foundation to protect from imminent urban development land that for centuries had been sacred to North Dakota's Native American population.

Ironically, Atkinson says that there is nothing special about what he does.