Yolanda Copeland was born and raised in Ann Arbor, and attended Pioneer High School.
Around 2004, she opened a daycare across from St. Joe’s, which she ran for three years. She also worked as a patient care technician and took a class in physical therapy and phlebotomy at Washtenaw Industrial College.
From 2012 until 2017, Copeland worked at the Ford plant in Saline. She was elected a UAW trustee at Ford.
Copeland also hosted Coats for Kids with the Lions football team with the help of New Hope Church, run by Pastor Roger, with frequent visits from Rev Jesse Jackson when his busy schedule allowed. The members of New Hope Baptist Church of Ann Arbor provide clothing to those in need, host activities for youth and teens, and provide support and a church home to those attending colleges and universities in the area.
During this time, Yolanda Copeland had a brain tumor removed and started the process of applying for disability 18 months after the removal of the tumor. While Copeland faced many obstacles when she was without insurance, WHI co-chair Sharon Moore helped her out with transportation and other needs.
In 2022, Copeland earned her certificate in phlebotomy at Eastern Michigan University. Currently, she is doing community work with New Hope Baptist Church, including grief counseling and helping with job searches for community members.
As a community ambassador, Yolanda intends to keep the community informed, share her experiences and knowledge with WHI members, and make new connections.