'Beautiful Plans'

‘Beautiful Plans’

Recent graduate is named Nebraska Mother of the Year

By Cindy Murphy McMahon, BA’74

Neena Nizar, EdD’18, recently was named the 2018 Nebraska Mother of the Year by the Nebraska Mothers Association, a chapter of American Mothers, Inc. Nizar, 38, received her Doctor of Education degree in interdisciplinary leadership in May.

In 2017, she founded the Jansen’s Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for Jansen’s metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, a rare skeletal disease that afflicts her and her two sons. Nizar also was named the rare disease ambassador for Nebraska and was involved in the nationwide observance of Rare Disease Day in February by the National Organization for Rare Diseases.

“I grew up at a time when there was little awareness of disability and no accommodations. After every surgery, my father carried me up two flights of stairs to get to class,” Nizar said on her Facebook page after graduation. “I share this for anyone who doubts. For anyone who feels it can’t be done, that the obstacles are too big, and that somehow it won’t work. Know that the Lord is even bigger and he has beautiful plans for you.”

The Mother of the Year Award, established nationally in 1935, “was made to provide an inspiration to the nation who would represent a mother’s unconditional love, inner strength and courage,” according to the organization’s website. As the Nebraska recipient, Nizar attended the American Mothers National Convention in Washington, D.C., in the spring. During the ceremony, the Jansen’s Foundation was awarded a $1,000 grant, and Nizar said she found the entire experience inspiring.