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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 #29 - Wyman Groenke

“It can sometimes be hard, but change also brings new opportunities,” Wyman Groenke wisely reminded the other members of Rise’s Self-Advocacy Council when they voted to change its name from the Consumer Advisory Council to better reflect their mission.     

Wyman has been an active member of the Council for a few years and comes to the monthly meetings prepared to participate. He is insightful on issues and seems to have the knack of saying just the right thing at the right time to contribute to their…



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Story #28 - Nick Carlson

It takes good organizational skills, a solid work ethic, and motivation to be able to juggle two part-time jobs - and that's just what Nick Carlson has to make him successful.

Fortunately for Nick, the two companies are located only blocks apart in Coon Rapids which makes getting to work on time at both easy. Wednesday mornings he does janitorial work at Cedar Creek Energy, which designs and installs energy-efficient solar, lighting, and building automations systems, before moving on to his second job. Employment Consultant Sarah Kohl-Leaf…



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Story #27 - Dustin Trudeau

When Dustin Trudeau was diagnosed with a brain tumor at only 19 months old, doctors gave his mother Karen little hope for his recovery. In fact, few children had survived such an aggressive cancer and his oncologist had suggested giving up on treatment.

But Dustin never quit fighting. Today, he is a proud employee of the Walmart store in Roseville who loves golf and baseball, playing video games and hanging out with friends.

It hasn't been an easy ride, though. Life-saving chemotherapy and radiation treatments left Dustin…



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Story #26 - Patty Welsch

At age 65, Patty Welsch is like millions of Americans transitioning to retirement.

After having worked on recycling and light janitorial tasks for about 15 years through Rise’s Community Integration Program (CIP) in Anoka, Patty was one of the first people to move to Rise’s Adult Day Program at the Mounds View YMCA in 2015. There, Patty enjoys leisure and recreational activities, local community outings, arts and crafts, and other learning activities Monday through Friday.

“She may be our oldest, but Patty sure is our busiest…



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