Amy Black has always done for her children without any expectation of reward.
That’s why the single mother of four said she was surprised upon finding out she’d been selected as the Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis Club Mother of the Year on Tuesday morning.
She was sitting in a preparatory math class at Ashland Community and Technical College when she received the phone call telling her that her son’s essay was selected, making her the club’s Mother of the Year.
“I didn’t know what it was all about when they called to tell me,” Black said. “It’s all very touching. I couldn’t say anything up there because I was so choked up.”
Black has had her children in and out of shelters since Brice was born 12 years ago.
Brice, a sixth-grader in Monica Martin’s class at Oakview Elementary, said in his essay his mother has always provided for him and his three sisters even if she had to do without. He said on Tuesday he was “proud of his mother.”
“She’s worked hard to get us a home and take care of us without our dad,” he wrote in the essay.
His mother was surprised and thrilled by her son’s kind words.
“I guess I never thought anybody paid any attention to what I was doing,” Black said. “It’s very special. They usually say men don’t express emotions much, but he did. It means a lot to me.”
Black, who is unemployed, said she is taking prep classes to go back to college. But her first job is being a mother to Brice and his three younger sisters — Breielyn Colburn, 10; Brooklyn Colburn, 8; and Keyera Black, 6.
The family attends Bridges Christian Church. Amy said the juggling act with four children going different directions can be difficult.
“With all the sports and everything, we’re always running,” she said, adding she helped coach an Upward Sports soccer team at the church.
The 28-year-old mother wiped away tears as soon as Kiwanis member Tanya Queen began reading the winning essay aloud to the club. The boy talked about how his mother was only 16 when he was born, but always put him first in difficult situations at home. They lived in a shelter in Ashland and, after her three daughters were born, moved to Lexington for a time and stayed in a domestic violence shelter.
The club also gave the family gift certificates for dinner and a movie, along with two plaques, including one framed with Brice’s winning essay.
The club will honor the Father of the Year next month.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2648.