2018 New Orleans Mom of the Year Finalists

2018 New Orleans Mom of the Year Finalists

We received some amazing nominees for our New Orleans Mom of the Year campaign … nominated by husbands, fiancés, daughters, sons, sisters, and friends … all who have made a difference in the lives of others and who motivate and inspire those around them. Selecting the top 10 finalists from all of the nominations proved to be a very difficult task.

A team of objective judges will determine the New Orleans Mom of the Year from the 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Sunday, May 6th!

Top 10 Finalists

Karen Carroll

{Nominated by :: Donna Garcia} Karen is from Slidell, and she and her husband have two sons. Her second oldest son Patrick is graduating from high school in a few weeks. Her oldest son Robbie died this past March at the age of 20. Robbie was a special needs child; he spent his whole life in a wheelchair. While taking excellent care of her family including Robbie, she also works for STARC as an advocate for families with special needs children. She has remained strong since Robbie’s death and everyone is inspired by her positive attitude. She truly sets an example for other moms, especially those with special needs children. I am proud to know her. In spite of heart wrenching difficulties, her faith in God remains unshakeable.

Abrielle Armant

{Nominated by :: Brittany McCormick} Let me tell you about my super MOM friend!!!!! Her name is Abrielle Laurent. Abrielle is one of the most genuine, sweet spirits I know. We have been friends since we met in high school at Mount Carmel Academy way back in 2000 (whew! we are getting up there lol). She deserves this award because in the face of what could be heartache and a depressing ordeal for a mother, she stands tall, keeps a smile, gives sisterly advice and remains positive as her son is special needs. She has taken a year off from being an awesome teacher to care for him and assist with his needs and treatments. Since she sacrificed financial stability of her family for her own son, he has made tremendous milestones. In addition to this, she is also a part of the Orchid Society that mentors young girls in the city of New Orleans. They fundraise to expose young girls to etiquette classes, trips around the world, track their academic progress, host sleepovers, etc. She is also the executive director of a summer camp for teens in the summer. She LOVES giving back to the community and does it with a smile even with her own personal things going on. She encourages me to be a better woman and she does not even know it. I am truly grateful to have her as a friend and she truly deserves this recognition, her loving and calming spirit is something that should be shared with everyone. Thank you for considering her as your winner.

Kathy Gonzales

{Nominated by :: Kelly Simpson} My Mom, Kathy Gonzales, deserves to win 2018 Mom of the year because she is a quiet hero. She is always volunteering to help others (non-profit groups), always helps her children and grandchildren (with babysitting, errands, etc), and is the strongest woman I have ever known!

She lost her home in April 2005 to a catastrophic tornado and immediately began to rebuild. Then Katrina and Rita hit and wiped them out again. She rebuilt and lost everything once more in Isaac. She worked for 38 years in the school system as a Teacher, Principal and Supervisor. She has touched many lives over the years and has never been recognized for her success and generosity.

She also had a thyroid cancer scare, had surgery and went back to work the very next day! She is the most generous and caring woman and deserves to be recognized as Mom of the Year. She has always been generous to everyone she meets but a lot of times she goes without things for herself so she can give to others. She is the “glue” that keeps our family together, has been through so much, yet, still remains positive and stronger than ever! Happy Mother’s Day “Kathy.” We are SO blessed to have the greatest Mom and Grandmother in the entire world!!!

Witney Arch

{Nominated by :: Heidi Lawrence} Already juggling 3 children, Witney was extremely surprised by her 4th unexpected pregnancy. Her last son, Beau was born less than 2 years ago with Sturge Weber and has had over 20 surgeries. She has overcome many obstacles. She and her family have been through so much including but not limited to the baby’s medical condition, her other son almost getting run over, a bad car accident involving the family shortly after the baby was born. Witney has never looked for sympathy for Beau’s condition but has become a speaker and advocate for the Sturgeon Weber foundation. She was just diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer that wasn’t accidentally discovered because her baby pinched her breast. Long story short, she just went through a double mastectomy and more major surgery. She’s superwoman! She bounced right back because she had no other choice. Everything she does is because she’s an incredible mom and and inspiration to so many. I wish I had more than 500 words because it would take a book to describe why Witney deserves this award!!!

{Nominated by :: Stephanie South} Witney is a mother of four. She had her last baby at the age of 40. Surprise! His name is Beau. He was born with Sturge Weber Syndrome. Since that day, she has been a champion not only for Beau but also for SW disease. She has a blog where she shares her feelings and information to others via Facebook. This year Beau was instrumental in getting Witney diagnosed with breast cancer. Her cancer was almost missed and the story is an interesting one. However, she has just undergone double mastectomy and will return for another surgery on 5/1. Witney has the most positive attitude and is amazingly strong- we liken her to a tiny tug boat. However, she will again not be able to lift precious Beau for another 4 weeks. She is such an amazing, inspirational women. We are all blessed to know her. She teaches the two year olds at STUMC preschool in Mandeville and the kids love her. She has the biggest heart and is truly deserving of this nomination. Please select her. Thank you.

Cathy Lambert

{Nominated by :: Nicole Richard} Cathy is mother of 2 grown daughters. Ten years ago, she spent months at the hospital without her oldest daughter who was on hospital bedrest while pregnant with quads, then took a year off of work to care for the surviving 3 children and continues to pick them up from school every afternoon, do homework, cheer practice and dinner while they wait for their mother who works full time. This year, her younger daughter suffered a stroke and almost died. She pulled through but it has been a long road and even longer road of recovery ahead. Cathy has once again put herself to the side and has stayed with her daughter all the time in ICU and now at the LTAC. She is what dedication to children and grand children is all about.

Ashley Moheren

{Nominated by :: Jessica Perilloux} I met Ashley in September when she registered her daughters for dance at my studio, and I have been amazed by her every day. She has 3 biological children and 2 adopted children, all of whom love each other fiercely. She sets an amazing example of love, acceptance and strength for her kids. Her youngest, Evie, is a beautiful brown-skinned, tough, wild haired child, while her next daughter, Caroline, is a tiny, blue-eyed blonde – and the love between them is unstoppable. That’s because of Ashley and her immense strength and positivity. When her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer recently, Ashley took over her care while still managing the schedules of 5 children and a husband who works out of state 4-5 days a week. She brings her to all doctor appointments, oversees her medicines, and makes sure her mom is as comfortable as possible. Through all of this, Her kids never missed a lesson, never skipped a beat. She’s raising strong women, the kind of women I hope will set the tone for our future. Because if Ashley has anything to do with it, our future will be filled with our girls using their words as their power, knowing their truth, and finding a way to turn even the toughest situations around. She is caring, she is real, and she deserves this award more than anyone. I am deeply blessed to be in her company.

Grisel Cabrera

{Nominated by :: Celesete Haar} My mom came to the US from Cuba when she was 13. It was her and her parents and 8 of her 9 siblings. She became a US Citizen during the May 3rd flood in 1980. She amazes me every day. My mom has 3 daughters and 5 (almost 6) grandchildren (baby 6 arrives in October). She has taught us all how to be a strong woman, to never be afraid to stand up for yourself and speak up when you need to. We talk EVERY DAY – she talks to all 3 of us every day – even if it’s just literally a 2 minute conversation. My mom is also an amazing friend. She makes time to visit with her friends she’s had most of her life. My mom is also the centerpiece of my faith. She tell me everyday to just pray, to give it to God and have faith. That’s gotten me through so much. I want to be like my mom. She makes me want to be a better mother, friend and person. She’s a straight shooter and pulls zero punches and don’t ask for her opinion unless you really want it.

Bridget Taylor

{Nominated by Rachelle Addison} Bridget Taylor is an extraordinary “supermom” when it comes to raising her three children. She’s an educator to second grade children at a Title 1 School, a hard worker of three jobs in total, and tends to meet the needs of her three little loves at home. Her middle child has been diagnosed with Autism, Hyperlexia, and Apraxia. She strives to make sure he gets the best out of life on a daily basis despite his condition. Additionally, she has raised awareness for his rare condition by composing books speaking on his impairments and her experience as a parent to support others with similar journeys and educate others on the diagnosis. Her gift from God is having unconditional love and patience with all children.

Kathleen Kilgore

{Nominated by :: April Monique Taylor} Momma Kay as I affectionately call her is not my mom at all but my professional mentor. She actually came up with nickname. I met her as my first boss after graduating from college. She runs a nonprofit for the needs for students with disabilities in charter schools in New Orleans. This is a position she didn’t have to do, prior to Hurricane Katrina she was the second in command at New Orleans Public Schools in the Special Education Department. She has given shared her knowledge tirelessly with new principals, Special Education leaders, teachers, and parents. Personally, she has helped many people, including me, financially. She knew I helped my mother out with raising my little sister so when I was in need she helped without question. By the way, I was her office manager for the nonprofit organization. She never treated me like I was an office manager but as the assistant director. I am now a eighth year special education teacher due to her inspiration. Fast forward to today, I am a single mom that still has financial difficulty from time to time, and Momma Kay would just send me a check to help again without me asking. Well I think she deserves recognition not just for my personal experience from her, but the countless times she has helped others. She believes in women equality. Equality for all areas in our lives. She has helped women tap into their personal best.

Michelle Mann

{Nominated by :: Luetta Stewart} Somehow, Michelle flawlessly executes the role of mom. Her grace, comfort, and kindness have extended far beyond her household.

She is also an outstanding high school history teacher. She’s innovative, intelligent, and inspiring. Her students adore her, and I’m honored to work alongside her.

Michelle became a Mom early in life; I became one later in life. She has guided this old-new mom through breast feeding, teething, and even a divorce.

She’s beautiful and talented. She is my role model who inspires me to keep pushing to bedtime. I absolutely adore her and would love for my humble friend to understand and be appreciated for just how remarkable she truly is.

Not only will the winner be crowned the 2018 New Orleans Mom of the Year, but she will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $1,100 including:

The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 6th!

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