Your Donation Will Be Matched by Jessie Ball du Pont Foundation from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2023. post arr Donate Now

American Mothers Logo
state mother of the year
Hawaii_Joy Kimura

Meet Joy Kimura, 2023 Hawaii Mother of the Year®

February 13, 2023


Joy Kimura was born and raised in Hawaii. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and upon graduating, worked in Washington D.C. for U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie. She later spent 10 years in Asia, where she owned her own business in Japan and subsequently attended National Taiwan University. She currently works for Hawaii LECET as the Government Affairs and Compliance Director, where she advocates to ensure that workers are paid properly on government contracts. She is a single mother to 19-year-old Jennifer, 2021 class valedictorian and current student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and 14-year-old son Jonathan, a freshman and member of the 2022 High School State Champion Air Rifle Team. Joy is the current President-elect for Soroptimist International of Honolulu and in her spare time volunteers to assist the Hawaii Institute for Human Services and Habitat for Humanity.

What surprises you most about being a mom?

What surprised me the most is how fast children grow up! I remember when my children were little, I used to wonder if I could make it through the day. There’s a saying, “The days are long and the years are short.” It is so true. I think back to those times when they were little and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Now, when my children want to spend time together, I always say yes. I know that these moments are all too fleeting and I want my children to remember I always had time for them.

How has being a mom shaped your life?

Being a mom has made me a better person. My children are my motivation to improve myself and my life. I love them so much and it is this love that drives me to create a better life for ourselves. I have taken on challenges and overcome obstacles that looking back, I myself am astonished that I was able to prevail. Being a mom also taught me what unconditional love is. I feel as if my heart has expanded! I’m now able to give this love to not only my children, but to our pets, other children and other people.

Share one of your favorite stories from motherhood?

One of my favorite memories is of when the kids were young and we all slept together on a single mattress on the floor. That was all we had at the time, but my two children, family dog and I managed to squeeze in. I lay on the very edge of the bed so that they could have enough room. I remember hearing them breathing deep while they slept. It was so peaceful. I would hold their little hands and sometimes caress their tiny feet while they slept and I felt so lucky.