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Dear Tom,

My mom had me when I was a single mother at age 15 but she did not let that stop her.  After she graduated from high school, she worked fulltime (3 part-time jobs at one point) while attending College on weekends & raising me.

7 years later, she graduated with a double major and has spent her career working for the Milwaukee City Development Department. She is very involved in supporting & developing minority businesses. Although She has many accolades, what sticks out for me the most is her huge heart and how much she gives back to the community. FOR EXAMPLE:

In 2004, 2 little girls (ages 6 & 12) fell into the Milwaukee River and drowned. My mother immediately reacted as if they were her own children – they were not found for 30 days.  She raised funeral money for this low-income family and succeeded in having railings installed along the river, to prevent that from ever happening again.

She loves her city and her job – so much that she could have retired by now. She always calls me and asks me “What’s the weather like down there?”  I think it’s really code for “can I come visit?” because

She really hasn’t been down for some fun in the sun in a long, long time. If you make her Thursday’s Mom – she won’t be able to say no yo you


Valinna Drew