A chance encounter in Kindergarten helped pave the way for a lifetime of philanthropy for Anne Toth. “My teacher asked me to play with a deaf classmate. That day set me on a path to become an advocate for others.” Toth (Ed.D. ’00) arrived at Nova’s Abraham S. Fischler School of Education with a successful private practice as a clinical social worker. “Nova helped me to build on my clinical social work, therapy and language skills. Its flexible format allowed me to continue my private practice while I learned."
Her Nova experience has given Toth insight into the value of distance education. “With my private practice, I can conduct distance therapy. Through telemedicine, I am able to connect with patients and provide psychotherapy remotely. Nova taught me important skills that translate into real world practice.” Books that she has published based on her Nova research have earned Toth several awards. “Nova nurtured seeds I planted in earlier experience. Stimulated by the challenges of excellent professors, Nova has facilitated their growth and development and ultimately my success.”
Toth’s humanitarian work includes several trips to Africa. During her first trip, she conducted trauma work in the aftermath of natural disasters, and attended to the “handicapped, poor, and misfortunate.” Her second trip, sponsored by World Vision (a Christian relief and development organization), was with eight other volunteers to Ethiopia. For 16 days, they helped villagers to develop their own infrastructure, and provided them with items such as books, blankets, and hygiene products.
Addressing and presenting on issues of water, famine, nutrition, medical, and mental health, Toth’s philanthropic endeavors have taken her all over the world. She has even returned to her own high school in Ontario. As part of the 30-hour Famine Project, Toth and the students raised $19,000. She often advises current students to “Think big. Think of your education as the keys to a car; only you can choose how, when, and where you want to go. Say yes; it may take you to amazing places.”
An advocate for adoption, child welfare, bereavement, and the disabled, Toth also speaks three languages: English, French, and American Sign Language. “I feel very blessed to be educated and world traveled. There are many people struggling to be educated; it is my responsibility to be their voice.”