Ruth Searight-Rucker is Gulfport NAACP's 2016-17 Mother of the Year.
"I am humbled, honored and thankful to the family, friends, churches, businesses and Gulfport NAACP Mother of the Year Committee who supported me in this endeavor," Searight-Rucker said, "and look forward to attending the star-studded NAACP Image Awards in 2017."
Rucker was crowned April 30 at the organization's annual gala at the Lyman Community Center.
She is married to Dwight Rucker and is the mother of three children, three stepchildren, four grandchildren, nine step-grandchildren and one godchild.
She works as an administrative secretary at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, where she also participates in the Memorial Foundation.
She is a member of the Hillside Baptist Church, pastored by the Rev. Travis B. Anderson, where she is a member of the choir and works with the youth department and mission.
Each year, the NAACP honors the legacy of Medgar Evers, who initiated the Mother of the Year Program to recognize outstanding women, celebrate the partnership between NAACP and the faith community and to commemorate the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan.