Jones named 86th National Mother of the Year
Mom of three, Dr. Jones recognized for positively impacting communities around her; excellence in educational & organizational experience
Known as one of Oklahoma’s youngest thought leaders, Dr. Mautra Staley Jones has been named the 2021 National Mother of the Year®. She was awarded this honor by American Mothers, Inc. on May 1 during their 86th National Convention held virtually this year. American Mothers, Inc. (AMI) is an 86-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to recognize mothers and their positive impact in communities through the annual Mother of the Year® award.
Jones is a mother of three, and serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at Langston University and the Executive Director for the Langston University Foundation. “I hope that being named Mother of the Year, if nothing else, serves as encouragement for other moms out there as well as people who are just going through trials and tribulations. I am a walking example that demographics don’t define your destiny,” said Jones.
She says that the honor of being recognized as the 86th National Mother of the Year is a fulfillment of a dream. “I knew that once I became a mother I wanted to just give everything I could to my children and make sure that their lives were full, and have more happy times than sad ones.”
At Langston University and through roles in various organizations, Jones has played a significant part in impacting the lives of community members, especially children and young adults. “When you have someone who understands the realities of growing up in extreme poverty, of having to really fight through and remain positive and cheerful. To remain an eternal optimist, it shows that life is what you make it. And, being a mother allows me to manifest all of that positivity,” she said. “There’s power in the words of our testimony—power to heal and help others, power to encourage or just simply give someone a spark of hope.”
For over eight decades, American Mothers has had the honor of recognizing inspirational moms from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. From these state honorees, the National Mother of the Year® selection committee selects one to be named the National Mother of the Year® annually. The committee is comprised of diverse individuals from across the country who represent the business, education, government, religious and/or non-profit sectors.
“The decision is never easy as the mothers who represent each state embody all the admirable qualities for which the first Mother of the Year® was named in 1935. We are excited to see Dr. Mautra Staley Jones join the legacy of our historic organization and the work we do. We believe she will be a strong representative to carry forward the voices of moms from across the country,” said Connell Branan, President of American Mothers, Inc.
Jones said that she dedicates the honor to her late mother and her grandmother. “Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. It comes with its challenges. It teaches you tenacity, patience, flexibility, knowing that every single day looks different. But I think those challenges make you stronger. And I can say that being a mother has made me a stronger professional, a stronger community servant. I bring everything along with that amazing maternal energy, and I get to put it into play every single day.”
Nominations for Mother of the Year® are accepted annually, Mother’s Day, May 9 – September 15, at AmericanMothers.org.
About American Mothers: American Mothers, Inc. (AMI) is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization given the responsibility of searching for and selecting the National Mother of the Year® from honorees representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Founded in 1931 as the Mothers Day Committee of the Golden Rule Foundation, AMI named the first Mother of the Year on behalf of the nation in 1935. Many outstanding individuals throughout America have served as officers, leaders, members and supporters of this organization such as Sarah Delano Roosevelt, J.C. Penney, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, Norman Vincent Peale, Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, Phyllis Marriott and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Today, our mission is to harness the power of maternal energy to make a positive impact in the world.