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state mother of the year
"Headshot of October Dalene Basden 46th Massachusetts Mother of the Year"

Meet Dalene Basden, 2022 Massachusetts Mother of the Year®

March 29, 2022


Dalene Basden is a Family Support Specialist from Lynn, Massachusetts. In 2012, she became the first Nationally Certified Parent Support Provider in Massachusetts. An African-American parent of three, with two boys who have mental health challenges, Basden has experienced first-hand racial disparities in health care. Her response to this inequality earned her the Rebeka Lee Award from the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2007, she earned her certification as a SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) leader with the Wellesley Centers for Women. She uses her personal experience and expertise as a platform to inform and enlighten others about social injustices by engaging her community, particularly those affected by bias and racism, in conversations of race, culture and intolerance. Basden and her family are avid Boston sports fans and, in their spare time, coordinate, coach and support Special Olympics MA, encouraging full inclusion of youth participation in sports.

What surprises you most about being a mom?

Being a mom means that every day is an adventure. As I grew and matured, I expected my skills as a mother to grow as well. I did learn what to do and perhaps what not to do, but what surprises me the most is how I am molded as a mom by the child I am nurturing. Each individual child that has come my way has taught me more lessons than I knew existed. I am surprised by the truth that even the most difficult situations in life are surmountable with the love of a mother.

What continues to inspire you in your motherhood journey?

Memories of my daughter Marla are what continues to inspire me. My daughter was charming, emphatic and the smartest person I ever knew. She was a product of my nurturing, my coaching, my values and love. She was who she was because of me. Knowing that she was able to take the lessons I taught, put them into practice and become the person she was, has been my greatest accomplishment as a mother. For these reasons, I am inspired to continue to nurture, coach, motivate and love the many children who I am blessed to have calling me mom.

How has being a mom shaped your life?

My whole existence revolves around being a mom but motherhood doesn’t consume me. I have been able to use my mom skills not just to raise, and nurture my own children, but to guide my career path in human services. I had to fight hard for my middle child and along the way I realized that I wasn’t alone, and that my mom-skills were valuable for helping others. I found myself in a unique position to provide formal support services to families and pride myself for being know on the job and in the community as “Noni.”