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Raquel Ochoa named Groves Mother of the Year

GROVES — Raquel Ochoa showed up to the Groves Chamber of Commerce building Thursday to help her friend and Port Arthur Chamber Financial Director Joe Tant — or so she thought.

Members of both chambers nominated and voted the mother of four and small business owner as the Groves Mother of the Year. The perceived help was a ruse to surprise Ochoa with the award.

Tant, who is a close friend of the award recipient, wrote a nomination letter, which he read at the chamber building.

The letter cited a study that showed mothers work the equivalent of 2.5 fulltime jobs caring for their children.

“At a young age, this mother found her soul mate and started growing a family,” Tant’s letter read. “Although it was something unpredicted, it was the most beautiful years of her life. While she stayed home, she cared for her children, cooked, maintained the house, cleaned and organized. In the back of her mind, she always wanted to go back to school to further her education and to be able to help her husband; but most importantly, to be a strong, positive role model for her children.”

Groves Chamber of Commerce president Beverly Hereford, right, presents Raquel Ochoa with the Mother of the Year award. (Chris Moore/The News)

Ochoa said she appreciated the surprise and recognition.

“It is an honor to see that the people in the community think that I am a good mom and they see what I do with my kids,” she said. “It is very hard at times, owning a business. Small businesses take a lot of time from the business owner. I try to make things fun for (my children). I try to do everything in the morning when they are not at home and when they are home, I try to spend a lot of time with them.”

Tant said it was very important to him to see his friend recognized.

“Our children call us aunt and uncle,” he said. “We are absolutely best friends in the entire world. It meant a lot to be able to write this.”

Ochoa and her husband have four girls, ages 15, 13, 9 and 7. Her and her husband Oscar recently celebrated 16 years of marriage.

Ochoa and her husband started their own business Golden Port Construction L.L.C. in December of 2019.

Tant said Ochoa’s story is so motivating and powerful that it must be known.

Their eldest daughter Yesinia, with the help from her mother, launched Yess Girl Yes Boutique in June of 2020.

The boutique sells clothes through its website, yessgirlyes.com, and offers pick-up or mail delivery.

“She is a dreamer, a doer and a thinker, and that reminds us that the possibilities are endless,” Tant’s letter said.