Ann Romney places primary importance on her role as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. As First Lady of Massachusetts, she continued her work on behalf of at risk youth.
In 1998, Mrs. Romney was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She has volunteered much of her time to raise awareness of the disease as a Board Member of the New England Chapter of the MS Society, and has been awarded the Society's Inspiration Award. By raising the profile of MS, as well as raising funds for advocacy and research, she is determined to make a difference in the lives of people who suffer from the disease.
Mrs. Romney is a strong believer that faith-based and community organizations can reach some members of our community better than government can. As such, Mrs. Romney served as the Governor's Liaison to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As a dynamic community leader, she has been a long-serving supporter and leader in the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. One of her priorities within the United Way has been as initiator, co-chair and now member of the Faith and Action Committee, a coalition that provides funding to urban church programs designed to serve at-risk youth. She has also served on the Board at the United Way, as well as on their Executive Committee and Community Impact Committee.
Mrs. Romney is dedicated to improving the welfare of children, locally and internationally. She's involved with Right To Play, formerly Olympic Aid, an international nonprofit organization that uses sport and play as a developmental tool for children in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. She lends her time and leadership to equine therapy programs for physically challenged children, literacy programs for children including the annual Scholastic Reading event, as well as organizations such as Partners for Youth with Disabilities, the American Red Cross, and the Perkins School for the Blind. As First Lady, she also served as a board member of the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund. In recognition for her efforts, Mrs. Romney was the recipient of the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from Operation Kids.
Previously, Mrs. Romney was a director of Best Friends, an organization that addresses the special needs of adolescent, inner-city girls by providing educational and community service opportunities. She also worked as a volunteer instructor at the Mother Caroline Academy, a multicultural middle school serving young girls from inner city Boston and served on the board for Families First. She also formerly served on the Women's Cancer Advisory Board of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mrs. Romney attended high school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at the Kingswood School, the sister school to the high school Governor Romney attended. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in French from Brigham Young University. She is a sports enthusiast and an avid equestrian, having received competitive recognition in dressage events nationwide, including winning the 2006 Gold Medal and 2005 Silver Medal at the Grand Prix level from the United States Dressage Federation. As residents of Belmont, Massachusetts for over thirty years, the Romneys celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary this year. They have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and eleven grandchildren.