When Codie LaPorte’s youngest daughter, Shelbie, was born deaf in one ear, mom wasted no time. LaPorte believed the sooner she got help for her baby, the sooner Shelbie would be able to overcome the challenges of her disability. So, LaPorte immediately enrolled Shelbie in speech and hearing services.

“From the time Shelbie was one year old, she saw speech therapists who tested her abilities and monitored her development,” said LaPorte, a Wealth Advisor for Regions Bank in Baton Rouge.

When Shelbie turned three, the Livingston Parish Pupil Appraisal Center, a nonprofit educational support organization that performs hearing and speech tests on children from pre-K through grade 12, confirmed that LaPorte’s eagerness had paid off.

“They found that Shelbie barely qualified for further services, thanks to the early intervention she received,” LaPorte said.

Each year, the appraisal center screens Shelbie’s hearing and speech and advises on academic accommodations to meet her special needs. LaPorte is an advocate for the center and a strong supporter of its efforts to send therapists into daycare centers and other facilities to screen and serve hearing-impaired children before they enter kindergarten.

Citing her faithfulness to speak on the importance of early intervention and regular screening for hearing-impaired children, Regions Wednesday presented LaPorte the Better Life Award. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance, as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community.

Together with the Better Life Award recognition, Regions donates $1,000 in the name of the recipient to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choice. LaPorte chose the Livingston Parish Pupil Appraisal Center to help move its mission forward.

“The whole point is to give back to people who have given to you. I couldn’t think of a better group,” LaPorte said. “If you have a child with a hearing issue, take them to get checked. The services really do make a difference.”