Joy Newcom of Forest City was named an Iowa Mother of Merit for 2022 by the Iowa Mothers Association, a chapter of American Mothers, Inc. She is the daughter of Gay and Fran Bowden of West Union. She was formally recognized at the Iowa Mothers Annual Conference in Des Moines in May. Also recognized were Kelly Polson of Harlan, another Mother of Merit, and the 2022 Iowa Mother of the Year, Nancy Boettger of Harlan, a former State of Iowa Senator and hospital director of education.
Newcom was very surprised by the recognition.
American Mothers began in 1931 when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt announced the formation of a nationwide program for a better observance of Mother’s Day. The organization established a Mother of the Year award in 1935 to recognize “an admirable mother” who could provide inspiration to the nation and represent a mother’s inner strength, courage, and capacity for unconditional love. Each state chapter nominates and recognizes mothers annually.
Newcom, who along with her husband, Mark, has two adult children, Stross of Forest City and Skye of Minneapolis, was chosen for her “outstanding commitment to making an impact outside her family.” Her nomination was supported by several who submitted letters recognizing her “compassion, tireless work, and passion for her children.” Newcom believes that motherhood has no “boundaries.”
Newcom is a writer and caregiver for her oldest child. Her career includes public relations work for various organizations including the Iowa League of Cities, Lt. Gov. Joy Corning’s Committee on Diversity, and Waldorf University. Her volunteer time is spent with BrickStreet Theatre and as a pen pal and reading buddy for RSVP. She has served on the boards of Iowa Guardianship and The Lutheran Advisory Committee of the ELCA. Newcom has a BA from Wartburg College and an MAT from Morningside University.
In her speech at the event, Newcom said, “Children arrive exactly who they are–unadulterated–and when a child tells or shows us who they are, we need to believe them. Indeed, they count on us to do exactly that. It’s our task to fiercely love and support them as they become self-actualized adults, whatever that may look like. Following where my children have led me has made all the difference.”