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BR Parents: April 2021

  As Education and Community sections editor, I wrote pages pages 14-21 (except for Parkview and East Iberville briefs) and page 26 of the April 2021 issue of Baton Rouge Parents magazine. See the web layout on the magazine's website.

BR Parents - Thrive: Life with Down Syndrome: Shouting His Worth

Originally published in the April 2021 issue of Baton Rouge Parents magazine and on its website . When he was born seven weeks before his due date, prematurity seemed to be the biggest obstacle facing Gideon Schroeder. His parents, Marianne and Greg, were completely surprised when Gideon was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. “We had the option to do (prenatal) testing, and we discussed it, and we said, you know, ‘It is what it is,’” Greg says. Heart tests came out perfect, and the facial characteristics associated with Down Syndrome typically seen on ultrasound didn’t show up.  “It was unexpected,” says Marianne, now a stay-at-home mom with a background in education. “It was tough at first. It changes your whole perspective on what you thought was going to happen.” The Schroeders didn’t have much experience with Down Syndrome, although Greg had a cousin who lived with the condition.  Gideon spent his first three months in the hospital, unrelated to Down Syndrome or his pre

BR Parents - One Amazing Kid: Annie Engholm

  Originally published in the Baton Rouge Parents magazine's April 2021 issue and on its website . While most kids took advantage of additional screen time when quarantining in 2020, Annie Engholm used her extra time at home to craft. She turned her hobby into a lucrative Etsy shop and has given away all her profits. “I wanted to get rid of COVID, and I was feeling like everyone else wanted to do that as well,” says Annie, a 10-year-old fourth grader at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. “I thought of the store to raise the money to do it.”  She launched Annie’s Ever After Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/AnniesEverAfterShop) in March 2020, and has since raised more than $500, which she has donated to Baton Rouge General. “My goal is to give a thousand bucks to them,” she says. Annie sells jewelry, keychains and an original creation called click clack clams, “two clams that are painted and decorated by pretty tape and googly eyes and you can click them together.”  Her pare

BR Parents Blog - We Are All Irreplaceable: Deciding to Get My COVID Vaccine

First published on the Baton Rouge Parents magazine website . I am someone who loves science, at least as a bystander and beneficiary. I even wrote about the benefits of animal research in my high school English class for our persuasive essay assignment, convinced science was critical to my survival of jaundice as an infant. Right now, I am in awe of science and particularly amazed at the work that’s gone into so quickly creating successful vaccines against this pandemic-causing novel coronavirus. When my turn to get a vaccine for COVID-19 came up, I did not hesitate. I had already been looking to get vaccinated via waste lists at local pharmacies–several moms I know in my circles had success that way. A waste list is filled with people who are willing to come at a moment’s notice to get a vaccine should there be one that’s otherwise going to be wasted or expired. But when Governor Edwards expanded eligibility to include people 16-54 with certain health conditions that m

BR Parents: March 2021

As Education and Community sections editor, I wrote pages pages 14-21 and page 26 of the March 2021 issue of Baton Rouge Parents magazine. See the web layout on the magazine's website.

BR Parents: One Amazing Kid - Dev Iyer

First published in the March 2021 issue of Baton Rouge Parents magazine and on its website . Amazing kids run in the Iyer family. Recently named the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System’s elementary student of the year, Dev, a fifth grader at Buchanan Elementary, is following in the footsteps of his brother, Jay, now a high school senior who was also honored as a fifth grader. Dev excels academically. “I’m particularly proud of getting principal’s list in all my years in elementary school,” he says. He’s already planning a bright future. “I want to become an architectural engineer when I grow up,” he says. The career, which would follow in the engineering footsteps of his dad and grandfather, combines Dev’s love of math, science and art. A multisport athlete, Dev participates in swimming, taekwondo, basketball, baseball and soccer. He’s also an accomplished pianist and artist. Dev’s artwork was chosen as the EBR school system’s annual holiday card three years i

BR Parents: Thrive - Filling Hearts with Kindness, Starting with Her Own

First published in the March 2021 issue of Baton Rouge Parents magazine and its website . Kindness is the keyword for eight-year-old Tiva Thyssen, and she’s involved in several efforts to spread it. Specifically, since losing her older brother Traeh to suicide in 2019, Tiva works to bring awareness to and prevent bullying and suicide Rosalynn Thyssen, mother of Tiva, Traeh, and their siblings Theodore, Trinitee, and Chloe, started the Traeh Thyssen Have A hearT Foundation, which provides information, resources, and support to combat bullying and prevent youth suicide. Tiva plays an active role in the foundation and bringing its message to more people in the hopes of saving other children who are hurting like Traeh. The foundation’s marketing efforts include a focus on hearts and the number 13. Traeh is heart spelled backward, and he was 13 when he died. “The foundation just tells people that you should always have a heart,” Tiva says.  For Random Acts of Kindness Week