Donna Masterson: Planting a Seed

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YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. However, Donna Masterson, Child Specialist/Lead Case Manager, believes in order to empower women, we must also empower children. Donna has always enjoyed working with children. In her current role, she works very closely with the YWCA’s youth clients and their mothers by coordinating a variety programs and activities.  

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Donna has implemented several new programs for mothers to not only foster meaningful relationships with their children but also to refine their parenting skills.  One of these programs is called Mommy & Me, a time that encourages mothers to read books with their children. After finishing a book, the child gets to take the book home with them to keep.

Another initiative she launched is the YWCA Parent Café. This allows mothers to come together every Friday to enjoy coffee while they discuss parenting tips, learn about local resources and form relationships with other parents. “A lot of our clients experience generational obstacles that result in learned behaviors, the aim of our programs for parents is to overcome this generational effect and equip them to be advocates for their children,” says Donna.

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While Donna spends time working with mothers, her main focus is planting a seed in the children. “By planting the seed, YWCA is encouraging children to grow and become successful adults,” Donna explains. During the summer, Donna develops a monthly calendar of activities to keep the youth clients of YWCA busy and constantly learning while they are outside of the classroom. These include weekly activities that develop new hobbies and skills such as gardening, crafting and reading. She also coordinates various field trips and holiday celebrations for children throughout the year.

One of Donna’s favorite memories at YWCA was the Valentine’s Day dance they put on for the children. It was a night filled with dancing, laughter and watching the children make new memories with friends. One of Donna’s favorite quotes that she often tells kids is, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right,” emphasizing to them how much their attitude determines the outcomes they see in life.

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Through her role at YWCA, Donna has helped many children and prepared them to be successful contributing members in their community. There are many ways you can also get involved with the children’s programs at YWCA, including volunteering your time or donating items. Contact Donna directly at dmasterson@ywcaerew.org for more information on how to help.