That is when our foundation stepped in. My husband and I started the Soledad O'Brien Brad Raymond Foundation two years ago to help promising girls who were future leaders.
We wanted to help them navigate around the people and things that become obstacles to their success. We also wanted to give them the funding that puts them within reach of a better life through education. We have adopted 23 scholars so far.
Our mentors aim to give our girls a taste of what a functional family looks like by helping them with simple things such as choosing clothes for an interview, shopping for textbooks or celebrating good grades.
We sent Danielle back to college and assigned a mentor to help her navigate her upside-down relationship with her mother. It was clear from the outset that Danielle couldn't let go of her mom easily.
"She needs me too much for me to move away. It's almost like she is trapped at the age she was when she started using drugs. Like she is a teenager, and at some point I moved past her and became an adult," said Danielle.
Salzer says it's naive for women such as Danielle to believe their moms will ever just go away, but they can learn to negotiate and set limits.
"The whole notion that they will just get rid of their mothers doesn't work so well, because I know very few people who can do that, just shed their family or their history. ... Their parent is really impaired. The best you can hope for is that they can stop having the expectation that this will turn into something normal."
Danielle says she knows her mother's behavior is a danger sign, not something she should readily accept.
She has cut off access to her passwords and no longer will give her money directly. She no longer trusts her, even thought she loves her.
"Who runs out in the middle of the night with someone else's debit card to get cash if they're not using drugs?" she asked. "I don't want to be helping her get in more trouble."