Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency

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 »

Latino Leadership Program Graduate Helps Her Community One Family at a Time

Dozens of families who have experienced serious illness or a death in the family have benefited from Blanca Yareth Lopez’s leadership. Read this story »

Caregiver Voices: 'Even if You’re Exhausted, You Can Gain from Finding a Creative Outlet'

Nancy Carlson, the beloved Minnesota author of more than 60 children’s books, became an informal caregiver when her husband, Barry McCool, began showing symptoms of frontotemporal dementia. The degenerative disease can cause dramatic changes in personality, social interactions and other behaviors. Nancy cared for her husband – also her… Read this story »