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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 #25 - Steven Solyntjes

With his eyes set on eventually having a career in horticulture, Steven Solyntjes finds that working at Rise is a great way to hone his work skills and gain valuable work experience.

A recent graduate of Hennepin Technical College’s Greenhouse Technician Program, Steven worked at Rise while he completed this one-year course.

“I’ve always had a green thumb and enjoy gardening very much,” said Steven.…



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Story #24 - Rocky Brederson

For Rocky Brodersen, it’s all about the journey – literally!    

A biking enthusiast, Rocky enjoys pedaling his way around the Twin Cities on the many miles of bike trails. He also rides a moped.  

“My philosophy is that I’ll go wherever my wheels and pedals take me!” Rocky said with a laugh. “I’ve always wanted to drive and so I went to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and passed my permit test…



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Story #23 - Rosemarie Dietrich

"We work together here like a family - we look out for each other and really get along," said Rosemarie Dietrich proudly of her team at American Converters (Amcon) in Fridley.

In her 21st year of working with Rise, Rosemarie has developed into a quick learner of new tasks and a natural leader on the workfloor who is more than happy to assist co-workers hone their skills.

Amcon is a fabricator of foam products and its nationwide customers represent a wide range of industries.…



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Story #22 - Jenny Johnson

"I'm good at all my jobs," said Jenny Johnson proudly. "I like to accomplish a good day's work everyday."

Jenny, who is 47, has been working at Rise since 1989 after completing her education at #916 Vocational Technical School in White Bear Lake. Over the years, she has worked at many businesses throughout the Twin Cities area, including Federal Premium Ammunition in Anoka, Muscle Bound Bindery in Minneapolis, and Liberty Carton Co. in Brooklyn Park.

"My favorite place to work was Multi-Tech [Systems, Inc. in Mounds View],…



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