Saluting the awesome non-moms in our lives

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Saluting the awesome non-moms in our lives

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

Moms Weekend is a celebration of Mom, but what makes a mother? Is she the woman who gave birth to us or the one who raised us? In deference to that question, here’s a shout-out to all the female members of the family who had a hand in raising us through thick and thin.

To elaborate on the subject of non-mother female role models, a few students throughout the University were interviewed. They were asked, “Besides your mom, which female family member would you give a shout-out to, and why?” The first answer came from Antonio Perez, a student in LAS.

“My sister,” he replied instantly. “Besides my mom, my sister has always been there for me… she was graduating the year I was coming in, so she gave me some pointers.”

Not far behind him came the answer from Glida Woold, another student in LAS.

“Probably one of my great-aunts. I’ll go with my great-aunt Betty. She’s a professor in Maryland. I look up to her,” Woold said.

The people in our lives don’t inspire by proximity. It’s the things they do and the strength they inspire in us that moves us.

This perspective is a powerful one.

“My grandma, because she was a single mother,” said Dyna Mulunda, a student in AHS. “She raised her kids after her husband died. If they are the people they are today, it is because of her, because of her strength, and she didn’t give up on her kids.”

But it’s not just the inner fortitude of our loved ones that inspires us. Inner fortitude is just a reflection of commitment to what they believe is the right thing to do. Sticking to what they believe in is what makes them so important to us. Teagan Vogel, a student in Media, answered with this in mind.

“It would be my cousin, Christie. She’s one of my role models. I think she is really awesome… she’s doing really well in her career, she’s really independent, she’s really compassionate and she’s a really big animal person, and I am too,” Vogel said.

It’s by this difference between who we are and who we aspire to be that we find our role models. They show us not only that we should live to a higher standard, but also that we can. The concluding response came from Daniel Vela, a student in ACES.

“I’d definitely say my grandmother. My whole life, she raised me, and she taught me my values. Growing up, she was always the main one who taught me right from wrong,” Vela said.

We’re not talking about people who made our lives better; we’re talking about the people who made us who we are.

So here’s a salute to the women in our lives who shape us, who make us stop and say out loud or to ourselves, “That’s amazing.” To the people who get up, live their lives by what they think is right and make our world that much brighter for doing it.

Moms Weekend might not be for you, but you still deserve to be told: You are awesome.

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