2011 State Young Mothers

Maria Alessandra Anderson, Alaska State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Maria Alessandra Anderson was born in Taranto, Italy.  Alessandra attended the University of Bari for two years, then moved to Utah and attended Brigham Young University.  She and her husband, Darin, were married in May 1993 and she transferred to the University of Utah, where she earned her B.S. in Medical Technology.  Six months after her graduation, Alessandra and Darin welcomed their first baby, Spencer.  They had three more children - Jessica, Matthew and Alexis – and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in the summer of 2008. Alessandra enjoys the outdoors, cooking, gardening, reading, cross-country skiing, biking and running. Her favorite hobby is spending time with her family.

Shawnalee (Shawni) Eyre Pothier, Arizona State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Shawnalee (Shawni) Eyre Pothier was the second of nine children in a family rich in tradition.  She grew up traveling the world with them, living in England, Mexico, Utah, Japan and the Philippines in her formative years.  Shawni attended Boston University for her freshman year, followed by study abroad in Jerusalem.  After serving a mission for her church in Romania, she returned to complete her degree in Social Work.  Shawni married David Stuart Pothier in 1995 and they have five children.  She strives to promote joy in the journey of Motherhood on her blog (71toes.blogspot.com).  Shawni enjoys speaking at Time Out for Women and recently published her first book, A Mother's Book of Secrets.

Christine (Tina) Thomas HoChing, California State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Christine (Tina) Thomas HoChing was born in Fontana, California.  She attended Chaffey College, where she received a Certificate for Secretarial work.  On July 3, 1993, she married Tauvaga HoChing and they have seven children together.  Tina has had the pleasure of living on the island of American Samoa for four years, where she learned the importance of culture in our lives.  She enjoys playing the piano, being outside in nature, and cheering on her husband and children in their daily activities – from football, basketball and coaching to hula dance, musical recitals, and school performances.

Amelia (Amy) Q. Arabe-Bautista, M.D., Delaware State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Amelia (Amy) Arabe-Bautista was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States with her family.  One of four children, her parents were both educators who stressed the importance of education and to reach for their goals.  Amelia pursued a degree in Zoology and a Doctor of Medicine, then practiced Family Medicine for ten years.  On March 20, 1996, she married Basilio N. Bautista, M.D., a Plastic and Reconstructive, Hand and Laser surgeon and left her practice to raise their family:  Basilio Nicolo, twins Basilio Nathaniel and Bernadette Nazarie, and Basilio Noah.  One of Amelia’s passions is keeping the memories of her family alive for future generations.  She authored The Man, the Martyr, the Hero: The Legacy of Basilio Borja Bautista about the life of her war hero father-in-law.

Brandi Barnes Allgood, Georgia State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Brandi Barnes Allgood grew up in Loganville, Georgia, with loving support of parents, grandparents and a small town community.  Valuable life lessons and leadership qualities emerged early in life through involvement in sports and school activities.  She graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Brandi has nursing experience in the ER, ICU, and Recovery Room.  She is married to Dwayne Allgood and they have three children:  Logan, Hudson - who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 3, and Addisyn.  She cherishes their active family life, and also enjoys volunteering in many organizations.  With inner strength and a strong faith in God, Brandi mothers her family.  After all, Brandi believes mother is not only a noun, but also an action verb.


Cecilia (Cesci) Perez De Wang, Hawaii State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Cecilia (Cesci) Perez de Wang was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She became an operating room trauma and transplant specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves.  Using her experience of modern surgical techniques, Cesci educated operating room personnel in Hawaii, where she met her husband Jeffrey.  They have been married for 18 years and have four children:  Alexander, Jessica, Kaila, and Andre.  Cesci is currently a home-school teacher and volunteer for many charities, including The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii, Meals on Wheels, and the Hawaii Historic Anns Association.    Raising a non-verbal daughter with Autism has driven her to advocate for families of children with Autism.  Cesci’s hobbies include sailing and gourmet cooking.

Hiedi Young, Idaho State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Hiedi was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  After living in an abusive marriage that produced two children, her mother got the courage to leave and raised her two daughters on her own with virtually no support from their father.  Hiedi attended Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, where she met her husband Donald Young and graduated with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Development.  The couple has four children and Hiedi’s husband has been on a deployed status with the ARMY since February 2005.  She manages the Family Assistance Center for the Idaho National Guard Family Programs and volunteers with various Veteran groups and sits on the POW*MIA Awareness Rally Corp. Board of Directors.

Susan E. Swartz, Iowa State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Susan Elaine Swartz was born in Waterloo, Iowa and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Finance from Southern Arkansas University.   She married Jeremy Swartz on December 12, 1998 and they reside of a farm with their children, Kyla and Dalton.  Susan is employed as a Senior Claim Representative at The IMT Group in Des Moines.  She has been able to work from home for the last 12 years.  Susan and her family attend the Bedford United Methodist Church where she is a Sunday school teacher, bible school volunteer, performs vocal solos, enjoys giving the Children's Sermon and is a co-chair of the Stewardship committee.

Ruth Ann B. Sullivan, Kentucky State Young Mother 2011

RuthAnn Benson Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Florida and Kentucky.  She studied at Ricks College, where she met Kenn Sullivan.  They have been married for 16 years and have five children whom RuthAnn currently home schools.  She spends her time writing a book, driving her kids to activities, helping her husband with his business, and volunteering at church.  RuthAnn’s interested include reading, playing the piano, studying the Constitution, traveling, video editing, and staying abreast of current events.

Stephanie Ann Waite, Nevada State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Stephanie Waite was born in Las Vegas and attended Brigham Young University, studying Public Relations, Political Science, and Spanish. After graduation, she worked as a journalist to put herself through Georgetown University Law School in Washington, DC.  In March 1999, she married Jonathan Waite and, after graduating from law school in 2000, she began working as a criminal defense attorney in Long Beach, California.  The following year, Stephanie gave birth to their first child and became a full time mother.  She has given birth to another child every other year since and is expecting her sixth child in March of 2011.  Stephanie started the blog “A Daily Scoop” (adailyscoop.blogspot.com) in April 2008.  Two months later, her youngest daughter died in a tragic accident. Her blog has since become highly popular and currently has over 1.75 million hits

Stephanie Southam, North Dakota Young Mother

Stephanie Southam was born in Northern Virginia and is the middle of three children. She met her husband Reeve while attending Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a degree in Family Sciences. Reeve and Stephanie married in 1993. After graduation, they moved to Northwest Ohio where they lived for 11 years, while Reeve attended graduate school and Stephanie worked for a law firm. In 2006, they moved to Bismarck, where Reeve worked for Bobcat. The Southam’s children, Jake and Samantha, are miracles in their own way. They were blessed to receive Jake through the gift of adoption in 2001and he is now in third grade. Samantha was born in 2007 and is an active three-year-old! Stephanie is grateful to be able to stay at home with her children and enjoys running, baking and spending time with family and friends in her spare time.

Jennifer Adams King, Oklahoma State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Jennifer Adams King was born in Cushing, Oklahoma and married her husband, Terry, in 1996.  They have had three precious children together.  Their first son Tanner, died in 1997.  Their second son, Tyler, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2002 and by God's grace, he survived. They also have a beautiful daughter, Serenity. Jennifer home schools their children, actively serves her church, volunteers as a Pharmacy Assistant in a free medical clinic, serves as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America, and volunteers for charitable cancer organizations. Jennifer desires to not only teach her children values, but to live those out so her children might see them mirrored in her. 

Melissa Jones, Oregon State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Melissa Jones was born in Southern California to a Marine Corps father.  She moved around the country living in California, Virginia, North Carolina and Hawaii.  Her father retired in Oregon, where she met and married John Jones. They attended Western Oregon University, where she finished her bachelor degree in health education two months before the birth of their first child.  Melissa enjoys staying home raising their five children in Dallas, Oregon. She likes to bake bread, cook, camp, hike, cross-stitch, scrapbook, garden, and play soccer. She stays involved in her children's schools, volunteering in their classroom and helping out with their activities. She belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and currently serves in their Primary Presidency.

Emi Dalton Edgley,  Utah State Young Mother of the Year 2011

Emi Dalton Edgley grew up alongside five brothers in the mountains of Utah.  Just prior to her marriage to Steve Edgley, Emi graduated with honors in Business Management from the University of Utah. Emi and Steve enjoyed living in Chicago the first several years of their marriage, where Steve attended medical school and Emi advanced her career in sales and corporate communications. She now loves applying knowledge gained from her education and career to her life as a mother.  Emi has learned through the stillbirth of her first daughter, infertility and the eventual arrival of two precious daughters that reliance upon God for strength – both in times of sunshine and storm - is essential to marriage and motherhood.  Emi, Steve and their daughters reside in Salt Lake City where Steve practices medicine. They love to spend time together outdoors hiking, biking and skiing.