Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency


Spanish Lessons by Volunteer Sonya Wilson Enrich Learning at the Wilder Child Development Center

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While the origin of this quote is uncertain, Wilder volunteer Sonya Wilson embodies its spirit. Sonya, a Spanish teacher and business owner, provides pro bono Spanish language instruction to preschoolers at the Wilder Child Development Center. Read this story »

The Judy Ohm Scholarship honors a late, longtime director of Wilder’s Child Development Center with support for the whole family

When Theodora needed childcare for her daughter, Heavenly, she knew it would be expensive. She planned to clean more houses each week to cover the cost.“I thought I could afford it,” she says. “But paying for daycare stressed me more than paying my mortgage,” she said. Read this story »

With Saint Paul Promise, Ahmani found a community that supports her journey to be the best parent possible

Ahmani Curtis does everything she can to help her three young sons dream big.She has taken parenting classes to learn about child development. She has saved some money so they can go to college someday. She’ll also keep her growing family – a baby is on the way – living in Saint Paul.“My life has been transformed here,” she says. “It’s… Read this story »

How Wilder Meals on Wheels Volunteer Sukanya Sathiamoorthi helps close the hunger gap in Saint Paul

More than 44 million people in the U.S. experienced hunger in 2022, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported. That statistic about food insecurity, worrying about where one’s next meal will come from, reflects an increase of about 45 percent over the year before. When hunger is increasing, programs like Wilder Meals on… Read this story »

With a place to call home, Wilder participant Adira launched a path to financial stability

Adira, a participant in supportive housing and asset-building programs at Wilder, lives in a tidy apartment in Roseville. The 33-year-old works at a gas station and picks up shifts for a grocery delivery company. When Adira isn’t working, she and her kids spend time together and enjoy trips to Como Park and Como Town amusement park. Read this story »

Telling Queer History storytelling events create community connection

For 10 years, Telling Queer History (TQH) has been creating spaces for people to connect, and using storytelling to build community and foster belonging. The organization was created as a response to the erasure of LGBTQ+ history in public spaces and with a desire to create more intergenerational, intersectional spaces. Read this story »

Ending Homelessness Together: Wilder Research partnerships help the community and Wilder programs understand homelessness and housing needs in Minnesota

 The Minnesota Homeless Study, one of Wilder’s best-known research projects, will return on October 26 after a pause during the pandemic. Wilder Research conducts the study every three years to better understand the prevalence of homelessness as well as the circumstances of those experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. Read this story »

The Community Equity Program provided Keisha Mitchell with hands-on experience during a historic Legislative session

Minnesota legislators passed transformational legislation for abortion rights, paid family and medical leave, transgender rights protections, driver’s licenses for undocumented residents, restoration of voting rights for people after release from prison, a $1 billion investment in affordable housing -- and much more. Keisha Mitchell was… Read this story »