Students advocate for their ‘super moms’

By Molly Zupan, Special Sections Editor

By Molly Zupan

Special Sections Editor

The Daily Illini reached out and asked students about what they love most about their moms. A survey has been running on social media for the past few weeks, and we chose the most notable, heartwarming responses.

Hubiba Ali, sophomore in LAS, Monica Mastalerz, sophomore in Engineering and Jennifer Biesiadecki, junior in LAS, were chosen as the best advocates for their ‘super moms.’

Sophomore in Engineering, Monica Mastalerz, said the following about her super mom.

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“My mom is unique because she always keeps it real. Whenever I’m feeling down, she knows exactly what to say. It’s because she’s been through it all. My mom keeps it cool through good times and bad times and always tells me it’ll be OK because life is some of both. Her mindset is really inspiring. I think it’s rare to come across people so composed.

“My mom is a super mom because she’s experienced all walks of life. She’s a first-generation American and was the first member of my family to graduate from college, with a degree in computer science for that matter (pretty badass). She raised me and my brother on her own, and now I’m going to be the first Mastalerz to graduate from college. I definitely wouldn’t be here without all of her support and encouragement. She has taught me that anything is possible.

“My favorite memory of my mom is from when we roadtripped to Canada and the east coast together. We actually couchsurfed for 21 days. I don’t know many other moms that would be down with an experience like that. We got to explore so much together from a completely different perspective than what you get from staying in hotels. It was awesome.

“My mom visits me at school often, which is something I’m really grateful for. She also usually brings me Serbian food, which is way better than my own terrible cooking, and makes studying engineering seem temporarily less painful.”

Sophomore in LAS, Hubiba Ali, said the following about her super mom.

“My mom is the best cook I know. And a lot of people can say this about their mothers, I know, but I think my mom really stands out in this aspect. She’s had people ask her if she could cater for their weddings and other important events even though she hasn’t had any professional catering experience, and she always ends up saying yes and putting in tons of effort to make sure they get the same amount of love and care that she puts into the meals that she makes for her family.

“My mom is a super mom because even though she only speaks very little English and has only had schooling up until fifth grade (in a rural Pakistani village at that), she’s raised both me and my sister without letting us feel any shortcomings in the quality of our lives. She immigrated to the U.S. when she was 20 and practically gave up her whole life so that she could be a good mother to me and my sister, yet she’s never let a single complaint form on her lips. If I could pick one word to sum up my mother completely, it would be selfless.

“My favorite memory of my mom is when I took her to the forest preserve near where we live for the first time. She’s a funny person but doesn’t really let loose very often, so it was nice to see her have fun in such a carefree way for once.

“My favorite thing that my mom does for me is when she irons my pants. She knows I like the crease a certain way and makes sure that my pants look that way when she does my laundry. It’s a small thing, but it makes me smile every time I see it.”

Jennifer Biesiadecki, junior in LAS, said the following about her super mom.

“My mom is a rocket scientist at JPL, NASA. She has worked on Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), Mars Science Laboratory and now Europa Orbiter, all while driving my sister and me to soccer practice, music lessons, theater rehearsals and robotics team meets. She’s never missed a performance or tournament and was always the best math tutor.

“She is a mentor for my little sister’s robotics team, so she teaches high school students about software engineering and computer programming. She is like a mom to all of the girls on the team and treats them like her own. She has always been there for my sister and me, being an amazing mom while working full time.

“My mom and I like to go on mother-daughter dates, usually to a tea room or botanical gardens. When I was 2 or 3, we went to Huntington Botanical Gardens, and I got too close to the koi pond…and fell in. While very pregnant with my sister, she jumped in and saved me. We spent the rest of the day walking around wet at the gardens.

“My mom is very crafty, so in her spare time, she enjoys making jewelry. She sends me the prettiest necklaces in my care packages, and I love to wear my one-of-a-kind pieces and send her pictures. I love carrying around a piece of her with me when she’s 2,000 miles away in California.”

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