Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency


Double duty: Dan Swanson finds fulfillment at Wilder through a career in Wilder Research and volunteer work

When he was a boy, Wilder staff member and volunteer Dan Swanson saw an Indiana Jones movie. What action! What adventure! There and then he knew that was the life he wanted. And it happened. Sort of. Dan, like Indy, loves being outdoors. And, while he soon realized real research is not the type of adventure seen on the big screen, he… Read this story »

Wilder Connect provided John and Chris Kuderka with support and respite from Alzheimer's disease

When John Kuderka was diagnosed with severe Alzheimer’s Disease, the social worker assigned to his wife, Chris, and their children shared some valuable advice. “The social worker told me that I needed respite, that I needed time away from John,” Chris Kuderka said. “That was my introduction to Wilder.” Read this story »

Artist, advocate, organizer, leader and Community Equity Program alumna María Isa is ready to run for the Minnesota State Legislature

María Isa Pérez-Vega is well known in the Twin Cities as an actor, rapper, international recording artist, youth worker and cultural community organizer. This election season, you’ll see the lifelong Saint Paul resident in a new role: political candidate for the state House of Representatives. Read this story »

Former supportive housing participant Sebastian: Looking back, Lincoln Place really did save my life

Sebastian Dina participated in supportive housing services at Lincoln Place several years ago. As Sebastian worked toward stability, his partner, Tash, was working on her own stable housing and life goals. Read this story »

Campaign for Families donor Megan Habbe gives so that others can trust what tomorrow looks like

Wilder donor Megan Habbe has witnessed first-hand why our community needs stable housing. In her career and her volunteer work, Megan has seen how housing access helps individuals, families and communities thrive. In Megan’s family life, she is grieving the loss of a sister whose early experiences with homelessness shaped her life for… Read this story »

Community Equity Program Helps Lindberg Chambliss Advocate for Anti-Racist Education

Lindberg Chambliss moved to Minneapolis in October 2020, intent on helping drive positive change after the murder of George Floyd. Lindberg, who had previously lived in Minneapolis, was exploring ways to support anti-racist education when an acquaintance shared an opportunity on LinkedIn for the Community Equity Program at Wilder. Read this story »

Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative supports older adults to remain healthy and in their homes

A 2018 AARP survey of adults shows that 3 out of 4 adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities as they age, yet many don’t see that happening for them. Read about how Wilder Research worked with a collaborative of organizations serving older adults in three states to evaluate how their model worked amidst the… Read this story »

Sarah brought her daughter to Wilder’s mental health clinic, and found healing for the whole family

Twin Cities physicians Sarah and her husband Joel were shocked two years ago when their high-performing, vibrant youngest daughter experienced a mental health crisis. They brought their daughter to Wilder’s mental health clinic for help, and found support for the whole family. Read this story »