Raised by a single mother who loved fishing. Her mother Dorothy Stormer taught Yolanda (Mz. Hooked) how to fish. Her mother: bless her soul, had no idea she would give her daughter the best gift a mother could give a child. It’s one of those gifts that truly keeps on giving. The gift you never really think about until you retire. At the age of 5 her mother loved traveling all over Cleveland, Ohio finding all the little water holes she could. She even ventured into the suburbs of Cleveland. Of course, Yolanda didn’t know it at the time, but this thing called fishing would be the beginning of a long love affair.
Yolanda, as a young girl hated getting up before the crack of dawn! Growing up, she always had other interest in school. If she could join it, she did! Mz. Hooked was very talented, she sang, played the flute, and joined every conceivable sport activity as possible. When she graduated from John Adams High School, she wanted to keep her grandmothers wish for her to attend college and to make something of herself.
While in college, Yolanda wanted to be a news anchor. Well, President Regan at the time had other plans because he cut all her grants that supported this poor little black girl to attend college. Although, disappointed she didn’t give up. Yolanda at the time was dedicated and determined and wanted so much more for herself; never giving up the notion to complete her grandmothers wish. She found other ways to get there until she could complete her college degree. Deciding to enlist in the military, she had to gain a great career and opportunity to attend college. She chose the Army, in 1982 in the delayed program, then subsequently enlisted in January of 1983.
Beginning to enjoy the Army way of life and the structure it provided she made it a career. During a time when the country plunged into war, Desert Storm (1990) was visibly her next stop, never realizing this would be a mission for her she remained to provide for her 4-year-old daughter, and it was important to give her daughter consistency to have more opportunities for success and to give her a better life.
Yolanda knew it was time to unlace her boots for the next journey of her life. Telling her mother as soon as she retired, she would purchase a boat and they would fish for days. Yolanda said, with tears in her eyes, her mother succumbed her illness and never made it to her retirement. The pain of losing her was so great, she almost gave up the notion to fish. Mz. Hooked spent so many years creating a career for herself she practically had forgotten everything and just wanted her mother to restore her knowledge. Mz. Hooked realized she had to take control and learn all over again from the basics.
She allowed herself to reconnect her life to fishing; after all it was her mother who gave her this lasting gift. It also helped her to align fishing and nature together. Her goal: to connect as many Black Women as possible, family, and friends to REMAIN HOOKED OUTDOORS.