|Honored by:||Joseph Greco Jerger|
|Brick location:||O:10 map|
As my days as an undergraduate of Iowa State University end, I would like to take this opportunity to honor the most important person in my life: my mother.
My mother, Angela Terese Greco, was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 23rd, 1960. She was raised in a loving Italian-American household where the entire family shared a love for the Cubs, the Beatles, and the Catholic faith. It was only natural that she would marry a man who loved all three, Michael Jerger, on September 27th, 1981. They welcomed my oldest brother into the world just over a year later. At this point my mother decided to sacrifice any career aspirations she had to fully commit herself to raising my brother so that my father could focus on financially providing for the family. Every day since, Angela has been loving and caring for her 5 children (and various dogs) by doing all that comes with being a full-time mom.
Although too many stay-at-home mothers go underappreciated in our society, I cannot let my mother be one of them. I’m honoring her due to the profound impact she has had on my life. Through each year of my education, she was always the first person I would lean on when I needed help. Imagine having a personal secretary that loved you unconditionally. Amazing, right? In all seriousness, I’ve been truly blessed to spend the entirety of my life knowing I was never alone facing any challenge.
Past her commitment to caring for me, my mother taught me the lessons I would use to succeed at Iowa State. Giving something your best effort has always been her only way of doing things. She has taught me to always be kind and to respect those around you. If you want respect in the world, you must give it to others first. Perhaps her best lesson I’ve learned is one that she might not have realized she’s given me. Always keep faith. Despite her struggles with anxiety and Celiac disease, both of which I share, she has never failed to lose hope. Through prayer, she doesn’t make excuses and commits her heart and soul into making her family happy. Any time I feel life getting overwhelming or too hard to handle, I think of her faith and perseverance and gain a newfound sense of power.
Finally, to my mother I say the following: I love you with all my heart and I couldn’t leave college without giving you this gift. I owe you more than I can ever repay, but I hope this is a start. Graduating in the same state that your father, Angelo Greco, was born in 100 years ago is something I will carry with me forever. Thank you for everything.
Joseph Greco Jerger