Client Spotlight: Danielle Yonemura

Danielle began her journey with the YWRC when she was referred to our Young Moms program through a counselor at North High School; she was pregnant and 14 years old. We have been honored to see her grow over the last eight years into the nurturing, responsible and successful mother she is today. Danielle officially graduated from our program earlier this year and we are excited to share reflections of her time with us.


“I learned how to become a good mother going to the YWRC over the years. I started out not knowing the first thing about being a mother and I was scared. When I graduated, I left a great, intelligent, motivated, young, successful mother. I learned how to budget my money, how to finance my schooling, how to obtain scholarships, how to protect myself both physically and emotionally, how to provide for my daughter, and how to deal with hardships I went through growing up being a young mother.”

One of Danielle’s favorite parts of the Young Moms program was when Mercy College nurses visited each semester to teach various topics related to pregnancy, child birth and parenting.

“I loved playing their health-related games (I was super competitive). I’d also ask them about their careers as I had always been interested in pursuing nursing. They gave me advice about school and I have since attended college to obtain my RN.

This December, I’ll be graduating from DMACC and acquiring my RN. I will start in the UnityPoint Nurse Residency Program in February of 2018 working full-time as an RN on Blank 3, where I’ve worked now for four years as a patient care technician. I start at the University of Iowa in the Fall of 2018 and will have my BSN in the Spring of 2019.

Then, I plan to obtain my master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner. I’m still uncertain what I want to specialize in, but have many areas of interest including pediatrics, mental health, medical business management, teaching and wound care. I’ve worked hard for years to get to where I am now as a medical professional and am determined and excited to see what the future holds for my career as I continue to grow as a nurse.”

We continue to be proud of Danielle for all of her accomplishments and her consistent, tenacious work towards her professional and personal goals.

“As a mother, I wish to continue setting a good example for my daughter and providing for her to the best of my abilities (which far exceed what a lot of people, myself included, ever thought I’d be able to do for her). Everything I’ve done has all been for her benefit. I’m excited to be able to give her the world and everything she deserves. For the first time in my life, I am experiencing what it’s like to have achieved financial security for myself. It was worth all the trials and tribulations I had to overcome to get to this point in my life.”

It is clear that Danielle is a stellar example of a hardworking and successful young mom and we are thankful to have her as a role model for her peers. Her advice for other young moms is:

“Don’t give up. Don’t believe people when they say you can’t do it or you won’t amount to anything more than what society expects of you. When life comes to knock you down, stand back up even taller and braver than before. Set an example for your child. Be the strength and the guidance they need you, as their mother, to be for them. Be the pillar that stands up strong and holds everyone together. Become more than you thought you could be. Don’t just dream it, put your mind to it and do it.”

Danielle’s motivation to continue growing comes from a variety of sources, but first and foremost is her daughter.

“I seek to provide her with the life I never got to have. I never want to be in a position again where I feel as though I can’t give her what she needs or deserves. I never want to be homeless again. I want to be able to buy her first car when she’s a teenager and teach her what it means to be a strong, independent woman. Thinking about these things motivates me the most.”

When Danielle isn’t busy with her regular school and work priorities, she likes to enjoy time with her daughter and being active.

“I enjoy going to the park with my daughter. I like to dance, especially when she and I dance around the living room together. We sing together all the time. She’s grown to be very musically and creatively inclined like me (as well as smart). I also like going over to my friends’ houses and conversing with them for hours about relationships, politics, school, healthy living and exercise. I love kickboxing and can’t wait until I can get back into going to the gym regularly.

I hold leadership positions in school with the Student Nurses’ Association as Treasurer and Pinning Ceremony Chair. I love leadership roles and seeing how far I can push myself. I’m always looking to grow and learn new things every single day.”

Danielle also wanted to share this message:

“I want to thank the YWRC for all of the help and guidance I’ve received over the years; for teaching me what it meant to be a mother and helping me through some of the hardest parts of my life. Thank you for believing in me, especially when I didn’t believe in myself. You guys have truly helped me more than you’ll ever know and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

Thank you for helping me, which ultimately helps what is most important in my life, my daughter. She too has learned so much over the years coming to the YWRC. You guys made a huge impact on both of our lives and I can’t wait to be able to give all that, then some, back to the YWRC.”

We couldn’t be more proud of Danielle and are excited to see her continue to grow and inspire others. Way to go, Danielle!