Many of us know Nadia Strausbaugh from her work at Gallagher Services where she joyfully and efficiently greets visitors at the front desk on Gallagher’s Timonium campus. Click here to watch Through Her Own Eyes video>>

Nadia is a resident in one of the Gallagher Services’ homes. She’s an accomplished artist, a fashionista and possesses big aspirations for life as a designer of fashion accessories including bow ties – aptly named Naddy Bows.

Her journey from an oppressive Romanian orphanage to life as an adopted daughter of Lucy Strausbaugh, a Notre Dame Prep (NDP) educator, is an amazing story.

“Nadia’s story” as Lucy Strausbaugh calls it, is designed to inform students about atrocities around the globe and provide ways for them to get involved and make an impact.

Lucy Strausbaugh first learned of the Romanian orphans in 1989, while watching ABC’s 20/20. In that news report, Lucy saw the deplorable conditions that thousands of children were subjected to as a result of the oppressive regime. The story motivated her to improve the lives of orphans and eventually meet and adopt Nadia at the age of 15. When asked about the backstory for these talks, Lucy responded…

“The context of when and why I do this unit with my students on the Romanian Orphans is a follow-up to my Holocaust Unit. After learning about that genocide, we identify other genocides happening in the world, and since 1989, when I learned about orphaned children in Romania, I’ve always referred to it as a genocide of children. You can literally see the concentration camp-like conditions that Nadia spent the first 7 years of her life in this clip from an ABC 20/20 who followed this story for over 10 years. They were instrumental in my adoption of Nadia. The pertinent scene starts about one minute into this clip. Brace yourself:

“From 1997 to 2004, I organized delegations of graduated seniors and faculty from NDP to volunteer in the institution where Nadia lived in Romania. It’s impossible to tell this story and not have our girls want to go there and help. Rather than me leading the trips, I now refer students and teachers to, that has an excellent program.”

“Watching Nadia grow and transform into this amazing woman has been very powerful story for my students. They’re impressed by her amazing attitude, ability and resilience.”