The girls bound into the room, chatting and giggling. They don’t look like yogis. However, they clearly know the routine of this class as they help teacher Chersten Keillor take mats and equipment out of her large totes and set them up.  


Chersten begins class by having the girls find a comfortable position, close their eyes and notice the sounds around them. She uses a chime to indicate when an exercise is starting and ending. The girls are still and quiet, eyes closed, focused. 

The girls then lie on their backs and put bean bag “buddies” on their bellies. This extra weight helps them feel their stomachs rise as they focus on breathing very deeply, which allows the kids’ heart rates to slow. This is a stress management technique that is very effective for kids and adults, and practicing it in class will make it easier for the girls to access these strategies when faced with a stressful situation. 


At first, my father covered up her forgetfulness. Mom always hated driving and handed over the keys without regrets, a blessing for our family. We didn't have to worry about her harming anyone or us hurting her feelings by taking the keys away.


Mom hid her troubles at family gatherings. I assisted her by using people's names in conversations so she wouldn't have to ask. As with all Alzheimer's patients, things got worse. We had to take away her checks and credit cards, then make excuses why I had to pay every time we went shopping.

Although my father did his best, protecting her in so many ways, he lived in denial at times. "Yesterday your mom couldn't remember who Debbie was," my dad told me. 

"Yeah Dad, it's called Alzheimer's," I responded. 


The aging process is difficult for many people. Throw in a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, and difficult quickly becomes terrifying. The sudden realization that one’s basic memories will be taken away leaves the entire family feeling bereft and unsure about the future. 

In early 2011, my father was diagnosed with dementia. In the five years since the diagnosis, this highly intelligent man who holds three master’s degrees and was once proud of his exceptional memory has become a shadow of the man he was. He no longer consistently remembers his five children and sometimes not even his own wife of 60 years. If only we had realized earlier what we know now.


Human trafficking, the buying and selling of human beings, happens in Rochester. Though difficult to believe, we cannot deny the truth. Repeating the powerful words spoken by William Wilberforce, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.” If there is one thing that the Rochester community has done well, it is the refusal to look away. Rochester is fortunate to have a number of organizations educating our community, advocating for change and providing direct services to survivors of this horrific crime.



Dads & Grads: Growlers, Rock Climbing Accessories, and Timely Gifts

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Written by Rochester Women Magazine



Local Author Laurie Jueneman Climbs the Mount Everest of Depression

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Written by Catherine H. Armstrong

Depression creeps up quietly, often abruptly and frequently without cause or reason. It cares nothing for age, income or education level; and it leaves its victims debilitated and sometimes with thoughts of suicide or without hope for the future. Unlike other medical disorders, mental illness often comes with a stigma leaving many too embarrassed to seek treatment. Local author and speaker Laurie Jueneman hopes to change that. Her recent novel, “Climbing the Mount Everest of Depression,” is a memoir detailing her own journey through depression, and it bears witness that there is hope for better days ahead.


In “Climbing the Mount Everest of Depression,” Jueneman shares her journey in poignant and painful detail. Like so many other victims of mental illness, Jueneman was embarrassed by the stigma associated with diagnosis and was initially resistant to sharing her concerns with those who could help her most. As a result, she became an expert at hiding her symptoms. “People think that if you look okay, you are okay,” she stated. “We get very good at putting on masks every day. In order to survive and get going, I had to pretend.”


Did you know autism occurs in one in 68 children? Did you know boys are four to five times more likely to develop it? The prevalence of autism is rising, which is due, in part, to greater awareness and improved screening. Yet some children with autism remain undiagnosed, and there’s a gap in the number who are diagnosed and the number receiving services. These and other statistics emphasize the importance of area resources, services and advocacy as well as supportive legislation and increased community understanding. 


Autism spectrum disorder and autism are general references for a group of complex disorders of brain development, including various difficulties in social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviors. “It can be difficult to diagnose autism because there isn't a simple test that can be run,” says Jon Sailer, director of Rochester Center for Autism. “Professionals have to observe behavior and development to make the diagnosis.” 



Is where we all come from
A piece of it lives within all of us
A land as old as time itself
Jagged edges divide the land
Yet we all stand together hand-in-hand

It began as a challenge. Visiting spoken word artist Frank Sentwali prompted his class at Rochester STEM Academy to create something new. The students had written poetry before but never on a blank canvas. That was the beginning of the journey that would ultimately take these talented poets to Augsburg College where they performed in front of former President Jimmy Carter and an international community at the 2015 Youth Forum as part of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.


mmigration has become a hot topic, first with the question of whether those who are here in the United States illegally should be deported, and now with recent terrorist events overseas leaving many to question whether the United States should close her borders to Syrian refugees. It’s difficult to ignore the pervasive fear of the unknown, and Rochester Immigration Attorney Susannah Nichols of Ryan and Grinde Law Firm understands these concerns.


diverse mix of people is in the marketplace, accessing products and services that serve their needs. A company is best suited for success when its workforce mirrors the marketplace.

Russell Fraenkel, interim executive director of Advanced IT Minnesota says, “Women simply bring a fresh perspective to a company or organization’s need for technological solutions to problems and issues and to utilize technology to create opportunities for business growth in the marketplace.” However, women are only 25 percent of the nation’s technology workforce.

Every Minnesota economic engine, from health to engineering, is highly dependent upon technology tools and systems to remain relevant and responsive. Young women are needed to fill the employment gap with their skills and to be technology’s next generation of leaders and innovators.


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