Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency

Wilder Volunteer Makes Child Development Center Family Events ‘Bigger And Better Than You Could Have Ever Dreamed’

Kathleen McNamara helps make the Wilder Child Development Center feel like a community. The Center, which serves about 70 toddlers and preschoolers in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul, hosts events to help families get to know one another and foster a sense of community. Kathleen, a military program specialist at Cummins, is… Read this story »

Meals on Wheels: For Saint Paul Couple, Diabetes-Friendly Meal Deliveries Were ‘Just a Wonderful Experience’

Wilder Meals on Wheels became a welcomed presence at Maribeth and Roosevelt Jackson’s home after Roosevelt was diagnosed with diabetes and cancer in 2012. Roosevelt, who passed away in November 2018 at 77, needed to adopt a new diet to manage his illnesses, but he wasn’t happy about the change because he loved fried food. Maribeth didn… Read this story »

He's Got the Beat: At Wilder Adult Day Health, Pursuing a Passion Helps Promote Wellness

Greg Mitchell has rhythm. A longtime participant in Wilder’s Adult Day Health program, Greg is often seated at a drum set at the Wilder Community Center for Aging. He drums when other participants sing in the Adult Day Health choir. He drums with professional musicians who play at the center. He even drums when participants sing happy… Read this story »

After Experiencing Homelessness, Mother of Six Finds Hope and a Fresh Start

At 27 years old, Kimyada Robinson parents six children on her own while working full-time as an assistant pre-Kindergarten teacher and a school bus attendant in Saint Paul. In the evenings, she studies online for a bachelor’s degree. Read this story »

Developing a Plan for Minnesota’s System Serving Children who are Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing

The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing wanted a plan informed by data, an understanding of existing services and supports, and deep engagement from communities invested in positive outcomes for students who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing. Working together, we developed a plan for the next five years. Read this story »

Volunteer Uses History and Cultural Experience to Coach Youth Change Makers

Youth are the foundation for change. That’s one reason Adewale (Philip) Adenodi volunteers for Wilder’s Youth Leadership Initiative, a multicultural program that encourages high school students to think about how they want to change the world and helps them develop skills to take action on issues they are passionate about. Read this story »

Leaders in Community: Latino Leadership Program Graduates Make a Difference in School, Work and Life

Every year, about 30 members of the Latino community come together for the Latino Leadership Program, a six-week program offered in Spanish. Program participants come from a variety of backgrounds and use the skills and concepts from the program throughout the community. Read this story »

Caregiver Voices: Harry Hartigan Helps Older Community Members Find Connection and Support

The Rev. Harry Hartigan is a caregiver for the community in big and small ways. He checks in daily or weekly on at least eight older adults in his life. On a larger scale, he helps organize Let’s Do Lunch, monthly lunches for older members of the LGBTQ community to enjoy each other’s company and learn about services and resources for… Read this story »