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45 Stories for 45 Years

Rise has experienced tremendous growth and development since we opened in 1971 to serve four people with intellectual disabilities. To help celebrate our 45th anniversary in 2016, we launched our 45 Stories for 45 Years series. It shares the experiences of some of the people we serve, our business partners, and Rise community members so you can see how we continually push boundaries and unlock possibilities for men and women who have a wide range of disabilities and challenges. 
Whether they are just starting their career in the workforce, working competitively on their own or in a supervised work team in a local business, in need of mental health and housing support services. access both employment and housing services from Rise, or are in the twilight years of their career looking ahead to retirement, our team members work hard every day to provide the customized services each person deserves. 

Story #37 - Allison Dukek

Beaming with confidence, Allison Dukek is excited to be moving forward with the next phase of her career. She is working with Placement Specialist Sandy Pelava to polish up her resume in preparation for her upcoming job search. 

Currently Allison is working as a data entry clerk and receptionist at Rise’s Creative Partnerships South in Bloomington. She learned her computer skills from her brother Nathan, whom she noted is a bona fide computer “guru.”  Allison…

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Story #36 - Char Johnson

  Char Johnson has a soft spot for senior citizens so she truly enjoys her job as a dietary aide at GracePointe Crossing Presbyterian Homes & Services in Cambridge where she has worked since August 2015.

“I really love the residents,” said Char sitting at her own kitchen table before heading off to work the afternoon/early evening shift. “I take their food orders and serve them their meals. It brightens their day.  I like having a set routine at work – I know what to do and I like it.”

Char was originally referred to Rise’s…

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Story #35 - Tom Quinn

“I just wanted to have some fun, but the evening ended very badly,” Tom remembered.

As a member of a speakers’ panel made up of people in Rise’s Connections program for people who have brain injuries, Tom has talked to area high school students to help them better understand the real perils of drinking and driving. 

Tom had studied to be an X-ray technician, worked all through college in retail and as a lifeguard, and had lots of friends. He was celebrating both his 21st birthday and his college graduation with friends and…

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Story #34 - Stacie Dziedzic

With a smile that lights up her face, Stacie Dziedzic’s enthusiastic and cheerful personality make her a great team member among those who work at Cummins Power Generation in Fridley.

“I’m really grateful for this job,” said Stacie. “Cummins is an awesome place to work and people here are so kind. They always make us feel part of their entire team. I love it here.”

Stacie came to Rise in 1987 after graduating from Fridley High School. She had worked at several area businesses, including Pentair, Federal Premium Ammunition,…

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