Louisville Mom Named UofL Parent of the Year
It wasn’t the morning Latonya Quinn expected.Her son, J.C. Campbell, a graduate student at UofL, had asked her to accompany him and his family to an award ceremony Homecoming weekend where he would be honored.
Once she arrived in the multipurpose room at the Student Activities Center, she realized the ceremony wasn’t for her son to pick up an award. Rather, it was an hour-long ceremony to recognize outstanding parents of UofL students.
And by the end of the ceremony, Quinn had been named the 2014 UofL Parent of the Year.
“He tricked me,” she said after the ceremony Oct. 18. “I had no idea.”
Quinn was one of more than 30 parents nominated for the award, now in it’s seventh year. The award is designed to let students recognize their parents for the help and support they've given throughout the students' lives. Students nominate their parents by writing a letter and then submitting it to a committee of UofL employees and students for consideration. Throughout the event, Dean of Students Michael Mardis read excerpts from each letter, highlighting the commitment and support each parent had shown in their child’s life.
Each parent received a small plaque and a copy of their child’s letter at the ceremony. Quinn also received a large plaque, as well as a brick in her honor in the West Plaza outside of the George J. Howe Red Barn.
Campbell said he nominated his mother because he wanted her to understand just how much she meant to him.
Here’s an excerpt from his nomination letter:
… Growing up in Sheppard Square was no easy task for a young mother raising children. Amidst gangs, violence, and drugs, that was no environment a parent wanted to raise a family in! My mother had to go through many obstacles so that her children have better lives. My mother became a young parent, a high school dropout, and an orphan due to the murder of her mother all before the age of 17! My mother had to grow up fast and learn hard. However, she never made any excuses and never allowed me or my siblings to do so either. To my mother, being poor and black was not an excuse, but a fact. One of those things, we could not change. Nevertheless, our drive for education and success was always up to us. Our future was always in our hands. I have seen my mother struggle terribly. It was even to the point that as a teenager, my mother’s struggles put us at odds with one another. At one time, I am ashamed to admit, I thought she was a terrible mother!
However, when I became a father myself, I began to understand my mother for who she really was, not just my mom, but a woman and a human being. With the loss of my father, it continued to make it extremely difficult emotionally on our family! Still, my mother never stopped praying and never stopped living. I am proud to say she has gotten her GED, is a registered Nurse, and is a full-time Nana to her 3 granddaughters, Victoria, Valerie, and Vanessa! She has devoted her life to providing and loving her children and her family. She even found the time to create a well-known community sorority called “The Sister Circle.” They are known for their food drives, back to school giveaways, and fun community events! She is fun, exciting, and very silly at times! She trusts in the Lord with all her heart and does the best she can to be the best she can be. It is because of the sacrifices my mother made that I can stand before you today as a college graduate, Oxford Scholar, member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and a Senior Pastor! I owe it all to God and my mother!
See photos from the ceremony at https://www.flickr.com/photos/studentaffairs/sets/72157648885239735/