Our beloved Nina Halissa Ouedraogo passed away on November 2, 2019 in Houston, Texas, after a valiant battle with inflammatory breast cancer. She was born on March 23, 1973 in Burkina Faso (West Africa), lived in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal (West Africa), before settling with her family in Maryland in 1991. She spent a few years in San Francisco, where she joined AmeriCorps, and moved to New Orleans in 2001, which she called home. She endured Katrina, lost about everything, but still went back.
She is mourned by her parents Bernadette (Betty) and Ismael, her sisters Laissa, Sandrita, Julie, brother Tom, and family members in Maryland, West Africa, Europe, and Canada. She is also dearly missed by her adoring school children, their parents, and her colleagues at the Audubon Charter School, International School of Louisiana, Lycée Français, and Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans where she taught over the years, and by her many friends in her city,
She graduated from the Rochambeau French International School in Washington, D.C., completed college courses for a few years, but found her calling in caring for vulnerable people at AmeriCorps in San Francisco and kindergarten/nursery children in New Orleans.
Nina’s love for her school children and dedication to her work was evident from the time she spent after-hours preparing for and decorating her classes. Even while receiving treatment, she always looked forward to work every morning and engaging with her school children she nurtured as her own. She truly had a special gift with little children that parents and colleagues could also appreciate.
Nina was passionate about reading and writing stories and poetry. She enjoyed reading her works on radio and at book clubs, was proud to have been published in an Anthology, and was working on more poems for publication. She was also found of drawing, painting, and gourmet cooking. She was known in her community as being independent, but also genuinely kind and patient, considerate and compassionate, with an immense artistic ability.
The Ecole Bilingue, where she last served as a French Nursery Teacher, honored her memory on November 8, and a Celebration of Life event was held on November 10, 2019 in New Orleans. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019, starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 205 Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877, followed by the internment at the Rockville Cemetery (lower section) at 1350 Baltimore Rd, Rockville, MD 20851.
In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to Nina’s GoFundMe set up by her school at https://www.gofundme.com/f/nina-ouedraogo