Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency

How Wilder Is Adapting to Meet Community Needs

Through a global pandemic, the unrest and community pain following the murder of George Floyd, and economic and financial uncertainty, Wilder has adapted and innovated to continue critical services that help families thrive. Here are some examples of how Wilder met the needs of families and the community in 2020. Read this story »

Hlub Zoo Taught Graduate Pahoua Moua It’s OK to Ask for Help

Amid the stress and uncertainty of fifth grade, Pahoua Moua found a safe place in a little room on the top floor of Jackson Elementary School in Saint Paul. In 2011, Pahoua was one of the earliest participants in Hlub Zoo, a Wilder school-based mental health program for students of Hmong and Southeast Asian heritage. Her sister and some… Read this story »

Community Equity Program Alum Triasia Givens Advocates for Education

Triasia Givens joined Wilder’s Community Equity Program in fall 2019 because she wanted to join with others to create change in the community. Triasia is the co-chair of the Black Parents Advisory Council of Minneapolis Public Schools and a student in the Master’s of Advocacy and Political Leadership program at Metropolitan State… Read this story »

With Schools Closed, Classroom Therapists Connect with Students and Families Using Telehealth

When Governor Tim Walz ordered schools across Minnesota closed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, therapists in an innovative mental health partnership at Wilder made quick adjustments to figure out how to bring a therapeutic classroom into students’ living rooms. Read this story »

Achievement Plus Finds New Ways to Support School Communities during COVID-19 Closures

Students and families at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School can get food and basic medical, mental health and dental care alongside classroom learning and academic instruction. Through Achievement Plus, a partnership with Wilder and Saint Paul Public Schools, Dayton’s Bluff builds on the trust and relationships families… Read this story »

Family Independence Initiative Trusts Families to Know What They Need During COVID-19 Pandemic

As we all navigate new realities and financial stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the social and financial supports in our lives are critical. Wilder partners with families to ensure they have access to the tools and resources they need through the Family Independence Initiative (FII). Read this story »

Wilder Volunteer Kate Hu Wins 2020 Sandy Kiernat Award for Dedication to Community Service

Every week, Kate Hu quietly makes a difference at Wilder. For two hours a week, Kate organizes files, updates databases and works on projects that save time and allow staff to focus on programs. In fact, PattiJo Verdeja, a former longtime business manager at Wilder, estimates Kate’s volunteer work has saved the equivalent of two months… Read this story »

Wilder Child Development Center a Reassuring Space for Kids and Families During COVID-19

Any parent or child care provider can tell you that kids thrive on routine and stability. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed most people’s lives, the Wilder Child Development Center brings welcome routines and a reassuring environment for children – and their parents, too. Read this story »