Courageous Stories

Highlighting community strength & resiliency

Caregiver Services Volunteer Ron Dexter: ‘I’m Giving of My Gifts’

If a caregiver wants to talk, Ron Dexter is ready to listen. Ron is a Wilder volunteer who calls people connected with Wilder Caregiver Services to ask how they are doing. These check-in calls help Caregiver Services reach caregivers whose needs have changed, and they can often serve as a morale boost for people who are caring for family… Read this story »

Margaret Lewis: The Children Are Her Legacy

Margaret Lewis directly influenced more than 2,500 children during a career at Wilder that spanned almost three decades. By including Wilder in her estate plan, Margaret could now influence thousands more. Margaret, who passed away at 96 in December 2017, created a charitable bequest that will become the Margaret E. Lewis Fund for… Read this story »

Eh Tha Blay Soe: ‘Because of YLI, I Can Be More Myself’

When Eh Tha Blay Soe started high school, she felt shy and avoided public speaking. Then she joined the Youth Leadership Initiative, a multicultural leadership program at Wilder where youth strengthen their self-awareness, hone their leadership skills, and put those skills into action in the community. Read this story »

With African American Babies Coalition and Projects, Support Begins Before Birth

William Moore is a health educator for Ramsey County Public Health, a semi-pro football player, an artist, and a comic book fan. He’s also a doula. Read this story »

Identifying Service Gaps to Improve Lives and Communities: Minnesota Department of Human Services Gaps Analysis

The ultimate goal of any research or evaluation project is to inform action. A multi-year Wilder Research project with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is informing systems changes to meet the needs of some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. Read this story »

A Plan for Recovery: Wilder Promotes Healing with Comprehensive Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Ethan’s priorities are spelled out in neat script in a paper planner. As a first-year college student, he makes time each week to balance his classes and other activities and interests. His to-do list includes pursuing work-study jobs. Read this story »

The Family Independence Initiative Invests in the Strength of Low-Income Communities: ‘We Are the Ones Making the Change’

Mary Chazen was ready. Nearly two years after joining the Family Independence Initiative Twin Cities, Mary had begun recruiting new families to join the movement. Read this story »

Saint Paul Mother Finds Stability After Experiencing Homelessness: I Am Feeling Awesome These Days 

What does it take to live a stable life? For Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood resident Barbara Lewis, the answer has three parts: “Home, kids and career – if you have those three things and you’re happy with them, then everything goes smooth,” she says. Read this story »