Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Unsung Hero: Tanya Mote



February is Parent Recognition Month. Strengthening Families Washington, of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State, believes there is no better way to recognize a parent, grandparent, foster or adoptive parent than by acknowledging the numerous and impressive things they do to strengthen their family and those around them in their community.

Seattle’s Child is proud to sponsor the Washington Unsung Hero Awards, recognizing our everyday heroes and honoring the important role caregivers play in children’s lives. There are 28 nominees for the 28 days of February, and Seattle’s Child will highlight each and every one.


Congratulations to the Unsung Hero for February 22


Tanya Mote – Olympia


Tanya Mote is like sunshine on a rainy day. Over the 10 years I have known her, she has personified all five Protective Factors. She has overcome extreme challenges through unmatched parental resilience, and endured a painful divorce during the birth of her third child, which left her a solo parent in every sense.

She went from a mother on assistance to a mother giving assistance. While her children were young, she found employment at a local non-profit and has since blossomed into a strong community leader. All the while, she parented her children with grace and determination, (all three are bright and successful and will surely do great work in the world—the oldest is now in high school and the youngest is finishing his last year of elementary school). 

Tanya continually helps others strengthen their social connections and is a role model for asking her community for help. Recently, she reached out for concrete supports when her step-dad died unexpectedly and she became the caregiver for her terminally ill mother. Friends and colleagues contributed meals for her family and visited her mom’s hospice. Tanya’s beloved mom passed away in December, after a long battle with cancer, and Tanya was at her side the whole way—while she worked and parented solo full-time.

She wrote to me yesterday that her life is “like surfing: one minute you are enjoying the view, the next you are being grounded by a big wave and then back to the surf board again.”


Nominator:  Ellen Zito


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