Ann Nader – … a person of character

CONSIDERING, she has given 32 years of her life to the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation. She coordinated a preschool program at the foundation when she first became employed there and has worn many hats over the years. Currently, her part-time job involves conducting evaluations to help families become eligible for the Early Steps program. “My family laughs when I call it part-time, because it takes up so much of my days.”

CONSIDERING, she has been married to Sam for 44 years and has three children and five grandchildren. The couple met on the Auburn football field—she was a cheerleader and he was a football player. Now, he is the assistant athletic director for LSU Football Operations. “We met on the field, and we’re still on the field.”

CONSIDERING, she has a master’s degree in special education, which helped her diagnose her 2-year-old daughter with autism before the doctors even did. That was 35 years ago. Ann and Sam take care of Lauren at home, with the aid of sitters, and Ann shares her education, expertise and experience with other families who are going through the same thing.

Considering, she approaches every task before her with humbleness, sincerity and hope. She truly cares about the people and the families she encounters. She is a bright spark of light in the darkness.

CONSIDERING, she never complains about the difficulty of raising a special-needs child. “As an educator, I’m so blessed to have this background. I can relate to the parents who are struggling.”

CONSIDERING, she was greatly inspired as a young adult by her aunt who worked with special-needs children. Ann volunteered at her aunt’s camp while in high school, and she felt a strong urge to pursue that as a vocation.

CONSIDERING, she makes a fantastic banana bread and loves to cook. “But I cook like the Southern girl that I am. I always make sure to cook lots of different food so everyone can find something they like.”

CONSIDERING, friends and family all say that she does nothing out of selfish ambition. She is genuine. And she is joyful.

CONSIDERING, she cherishes her family and the life she has lived so far. She feels blessed with a professional and personal life that she appreciates. “As long as I feel that happiness in my heart to continue helping families and children, I’ll keep going along the path that I’m on. It’s been a good one.”