Nationwide earns spot on 2023 Working Parent of the Year by Seramount list
Nationwide’s workplace culture is one that puts people first. With flexible work options, benefits and resources for working parents to succeed, the company has earned a spot on Seramount’s 2023 100 Best Companies list. In honor of this recognition, Nationwide associates nominated parents they felt deserved to be recognized, and from that list, two extraordinary parents were chosen.
No one tells you that as an adult, your child will teach you discipline, courage and resiliency. When Walaa Waeda’s 18-year-old daughter, Jana, was born, she was filled with joy, but their path took an unexpected turn. Doctors revealed concerns about Jana's vision, the need for hearing devices, and an aggressive form of type 1 diabetes. Her relentless pursuit of answers led to the diagnosis of “Wolfram Syndrome,” a rare genetic disease resulting in complete deaf-blindness, diabetes and profound mental health challenges for Jana.
Her daughter inspired her to become an advocate for the deaf-blind community, where she honors the courage, resilience and strength of the community by actively fostering inclusivity. Throughout this year, Walaa has remained dedicated to her work and family, including her 21-year-old daughter, Jumana; 5-year-old son, Adam; and her husband Eugene and three stepchildren, while also balancing multiple doctors’ appointments and hospital visits for Jana.
“Don’t forget to take care of yourself. You are the most important human in your children’s lives and your mental health and wellbeing will be crucial to their wellbeing,” Walaa shares. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it takes a village. I am thankful to have the love and support of my husband Eugene and our six children, as well as the love and support of Nationwide and the deaf-blind community.”
In their journey of parenting, Rebecca Cann-Dusenberry, money services representative, and her husband have faced quite a rollercoaster of challenges. From job losses to frequent relocations across states, coping with the loss of parents, managing learning disabilities in their kids and navigating high-risk pregnancies - they’ve weathered it all. But their most significant trial was juggling full-time work while caring for their teenage son, preschooler and critically ill infant, who was waiting for a heart transplant. They were able to maintain a semblance of stability at home and at the hospital during their daughter, Everlee’s, medical journey that began from the moment she was born until she tragically passed at just 10 months old.
Connecting with other working parents was invaluable to Rebecca during this time. Rebecca also drew inspiration from her father, who raised her and her siblings as a single parent. Even working long hours, he found time for baseball games, trips to the park and movie nights. Rebecca shared, “His example has been my best resource, and I've always aspired to be as great a parent as he was to my brothers and me.”
Rebecca says, “Give yourself grace. Parenting comes with its share of ups and downs, and it's crucial not to let the tough days define your journey. Remember that your children are always watching and learning from how you handle both the good and challenging times.”
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