American Mothers Names Shalita O’Neale Maryland Mother of the Year ®

Indie Soul Magazine, April 15, 2017

National Non-Profit to Honor Mothers across the US States, DC, and Puerto Rico

Washington, DC – American Mothers Inc. ® has named the state Mother of the Year® and Mother of Achievement honorees for 2017.  Shalita O’Neale from Largo, MD has been selected to represent the state of Maryland.  She will serve as an ambassador for mothers across the country and will be recognized at an annual national conference in Washington DC from April 23-25, 2017, where the National Mother of the Year will be named.

American Mothers Names Shalita O’Neale Maryland Mother of the Year (R)

American Mothers Inc. ® is celebrating its 82nd year of nationally honoring motherhood, educating on issues impacting mothers and children at home, at work, and in the world.  American Mothers recognizes the contributions and commitment to family and community that moms exhibit on a daily basis.


Shalita was selected from nominees from across the state as Maryland Mother of the Year because she excels in her role as a mother and as a community leader. Shalita graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a BA in criminology and also holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore. Shalita founded Fostering Change Network LLC in 2012 as a way to use her 13 years of experience in launching, building and sustaining non-profit organizations and non-profit programs to help others do the same. She has also been heavily involved in child welfare training and advocacy and connecting young professionals with foster care histories, like herself, through local and national professional networking events. Shalita’s desire to help adults from foster care secure resources that will allow them to contribute to the economic development in their communities led her to found the Fostering Change Network Foundation- a non-profit organization. She is also the founder of Hope Forward, Inc. Through Shalita’s grant-writing skills and relationships with local foundations and key community figures, she has been able raise over $2 million for this non-profit over the past 8 years.  Shalita and her husband have a six year old son and live in Maryland.

“Every year we are amazed by the passion our “moms” have for being a mother and improving the lives of those around them,” says Dianne Callister, President of American Mothers. “It’s inspiring to see so many women who embody the selfless, caring spirit of motherhood and who are using that maternal energy to make the world a better place.”

Mother of the Year® nominees qualify for the honor by having one or more children and being amazing in their role as mom. Nominees for Mother of Achievement should be an individual who has made a significant contribution to improve the lives of mothers and children in her community and/or the nation but she does not need to have children to qualify.

The public is invited to nominate their favorite “mom” annually from Mother’s Day to November 15 at

Shalita O'Neale