Although we were not able to host our Celebrate Rise Fundraising Gala in person this year and honor our award recipients, we were still able to recognize four truly great Rise’ing Stars with presentations made by President Lynn Noren and Vice President Tim Dickie at their homes or job location. Congratulations to each of you for your perseverance, hard work and commitment to your goals! Meet them here:
When Meyer Belkin was offered “wrap-around” services through Hennepin County Drug Court’s Diversionary program, he received the support he needed to make significant changes in his life. With the assistance of Rise employment consultants, Meyer began to rebuild his career, first as a sous chef in a downtown Minneapolis restaurant, and now as a manager of three sober houses. He is also studying to renew his cosmetology license and pursue that career path. Meyer has dedicated himself to giving back to a community which he says has given so much to him over the past few years through charitable gifts and volunteering.
Joseph Fritz has faced many difficult times with his mental health over the years, which made building a career challenging. But he kept moving forward, and with support from a Rise employment consultant, found success working in a maintenance position as well as a CNC (computer numerical control) saw operator. Joe is now working in a new job, moving closer to his employment goal as a concrete construction worker. Joe also benefitted from Rise housing supports and was able to move into his own apartment. With more stability in his employment, finances, and housing, Joe’s health has greatly improved. He is excited be saving to purchase his own home.
James Koch has overcome many challenges over the years, but continues to do well and build his career. Originally hired five years ago as a cashier at the Walmart in Woodbury, James’s solid work ethic and continual skill development caught the attention of his managers. They have promoted him to positions of increased responsibility, including customer service manager, and his current position as an optician assistant, which he really enjoys. James’s hard work and determination have led to his great career success.
Jerianne Lindman didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop her from enjoying and benefitting from the services she receives at Rise’s Adult Day Program in New Brighton. Although not able to attend in person, Jerianne has flourished using remote services and goes to great lengths not to miss her scheduled sessions, even bringing a device with her on the road when her family is traveling. Jerianne enjoys leading group discussions in nature studies, trivia games, American Sign Language lessons, and even dancing her heart out during music class — clearly demonstrating the value of being together with her peers. Even if they are at home across the miles, Jerianne helps make it fun for everyone.
This article appears in the December 2020 issue of the Rise Reporter.