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18 x May 3 — 16, 2018

18 x May 3 — 16, 2018 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com OVERALL WINNER Christian Whitney, 18 Summerlake Best Mom: Patricia Whitney 7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 350 Orlando, FL 32819 Raised alongside 11 siblings, she brought six very grateful lives into this world. She loves her three cute grandchildren. My mother has been through it all and has accomplished the greatest feats of motherhood. When her husband was deployed to war for a year, she raised six kids all on her own, ranging in age from a few months to 18 years old. When her husband said, “We’re moving to China,” she did not hesitate, but she prayed and said, “Let’s go.” Later, when asked if they should go to China a second time, she only smiled warmly. As my father came and added a seventh screaming child to the mix, she showed only kindness. Almost single-handedly, she has moved her family 17 times across the world. This amazing woman taught us to cook, budget, serve and how to have faith through all trials. Now, four of the six children have graduated from college debt-free. The fifth earned a fullride scholarship. All three of her sons are Eagle Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America. After a certain daughter and son-in-law came back for help with their little family, she selflessly gave shelter and child care, even though she retired from toddler care a decade ago. While she did her best and taught us well, we didn’t always listen. Through the paradox of pride, we thought we knew better. She didn’t condemn us when we fell; rather, she wrapped us in her perfect arms, holding us for all time. 12-AND-OLDER WINNER Aidan Wamsley, 18 Stoneybrook West Best Mom: Lauryn Wamsley I am now 18 and a senior in high school. When my mother was my age, her morning routine before school consisted of waking up Aidan Wamsley of Stoneybrook West, winner in the 12-and-older age group, is pictured with best mom Lauryn Wamsley. on time, taking a shower, getting dressed and then packing lunch for me, dressing me, feeding me and driving to a day care that would watch me while she studied and tested with other high school students. It must have been difficult for my mother. My birth father left her when she told him she was pregnant with me. I’ve never seen him my entire life, and my mother never once spoke of him. She gave up going to college just to raise me. I’d wait up all night until 9 p.m., because I couldn’t sleep until she came home from her job as a waitress at a restaurant, where she’d barely get any tips and that was a 30-minute drive away from home. That year I would bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for lunch. I think she has grown some armor over the years. She’s now a mother of four and has volunteered as a surrogate mother two years in a row to give birth for those who couldn’t. I don’t know how she does it. I choose to believe that her children motivate her. After all, she is a preschool teacher. 10-11 WINNER Maya and Veda Srikantan, 10 Westminster Landing Best Mom: Dr. Shoba Srikantan Our mother is the best mother in the whole universe. She is as sweet as a chocolate caramel and as strong as a beating heart. As twin sisters, we chose to write this essay together to honor our wonderful mother.

ow and doesn’t get any sleep, she still comes to our tennis tournaments, music concerts and more with a smile on her face. We do not know how she does it, how she is so strong to persevere through her tiredness. She is extremely dedicated to us, and we know she will always be there to support us and encourage us to make the world a better place. Mom, we love you. www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x May 3 — 16, 2018 x 19 Maya (right) and Veda Srikantan of Westminster Landing, winners in the 10-11 age group, are pictured with best mom Dr. Shoba Srikantan. Our mother is so kind and caring. She nurtures us and teaches us many important lifelong lessons. Without our mom, we wouldn’t be able to believe in ourselves. She teaches us to never give up, to always be confident in ourselves, and to celebrate each other’s successes. Our mom is our superhero. She is better than Wonder Woman, because she is not only a great mom, she is also a fantastic pediatrician. She saves kids’ lives every day as a critical care doctor. Even when she works 30 hours in a 9-AND-YOUNGER WINNER Abby Jankowski, 7, & Emma Jankowski, 5 Thornhill Best Mom: Judy Jankowski Abby: My mom is sweet and kind. She gives me hugs and kisses, giving kisses at night when reading bedtime stories. She loves me a lot, and I love her a lot. My mom likes to do surprises for us. On her special day, Mother’s Day, we asked what she wanted to do. She CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 Choose Windermere's Only Exclusive Boutique PreSchool