Aug. 9, 2010
Duluth teenager sets goals high
By Sarah Packingham
Danielle Urness is a 17-year-old with a lot of
She will be a senior at Denfeld in the fall and
has already started thinking about where she wants to go to college.
She is hoping to attend the University of Minnesota in the Twin
Cities or the University of Wisconsin in Madison. No matter where
she attends, she plans on working toward a biomedical engineering
With her degree — which she plans to have
within five years — she hopes of inventing a new kidney dialysis
“My grandmother died from complications
from kidney failure related to hemodialysis,” she told the
Budgeteer. “My goal is to help people with kidney failure
who need hemodialysis. Coming up with a better filter would improve
how their treatment is managed.”
Beyond her education in the classroom, Urness
also has the goal of starting a mixed martial arts (MMA) and self-defense
program for females.
“I just recently got started with MMA,”
she said. “I got involved because I have always thought that
self-defense is important for everyone, but especially to women.
I want to learn to protect myself; I think it is important for all
girls to know how to.”
She will start training at Twin Ports Mixed Martial
Arts in the fall.
Urness recently competed in the Miss West Duluth
pageant for the first time and is looking forward to representing
the community she lives in.
“I got involved this year because I have
lived in West Duluth my entire life and have a strong family connection
to West Duluth,” she said. “This area means everything
Urness knows she will be happy with her life as
she continues to reach her goals.
In her daily life, Urness is very involved in
various activities at school. She plays soccer and volleyball and
participates on the math team and is in Pyramid (a club that sets
up formal dances). She also plays the piano and cello. In her spare
time she dances and tutors calculus.
Urness surrounds herself with those who will bring
her up and help her to accomplish her goals. She credits her mother
as one of the most inspirational people she knows.
She says her mother has drive, a strong will and
lots of love and support. Her mother just accomplished one of her
goals in December as she finished graduate school.
In her spare time, Urness likes to spend time
with family and friends and volunteer at church with different youth
activities and Vacation Bible School.
If she could do anything for one day, Urness would
like to give the Peace Corps a shot.
But, looking at the big picture, Urness has her
future mapped out.
She wants to “work on a cure for lung cancer,
bring medical technology to countries in need and have a big family.”