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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 #33 - Don Lind

Rise workers and team members were saddened by the recent death of Don Lind, who passed away September 2 at the age of 84. 

Working at Rise was Don’s “retirement…



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Story #32 - Rachel E.

Rachel Elmstrand was proud to be one of the thousands of direct support professionals (DSP) that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recognized last week with a special proclamation for the essential work they do to assist people with disabilities lead meaningful lives.

She has worked at Industries, Inc. in Cambridge for the past year and has been promoted a few times. Currently, she supervises 30 people in small work crews of four or five who clean 14 different businesses – restaurants, offices, retail stores, apartment buildings, and a community…



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Story #31 - Lisa Nowlin

Having raised thousands of dollars over the past several years for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance's annual Walk for Thought, Lisa Nowlin is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to collecting pledges. Always polite and appreciative, she nonetheless is determined to help raise as much money as she can for this great cause. This year's Walk for Thought will be held September 17 at Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton.

"I formed my 'Brain Storming' team 12 years ago and have participated every year since," said Lisa. "I think…



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Story# 30 - Mee Thao

Mee Thao was only eleven years old when her parents and three sisters made the long trek from Laos to live in Minnesota in 1978. Despite the tremendous changes in culture and climate, Mee's family happily embraced their new home here and did well. 

Born deaf and having used Laotian Sign Language, Mee easily learned American Sign Language through the deaf program at Como Park Elementary School in St. Paul; she graduated from Humboldt High School in 1989.

When Mee, who is 48, started working with Rise's Day Training and Habilitation…



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