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.


What are your first thoughts when you hear the term “Mom Blog?” Do you think of recipes, do it yourself toddler activities or freezer meal plans? What I thought of when approached about creating a mom blog in Rochester was an incredible opportunity to unite the energy of a powerful group of women in our community. 


“There is nothing in the world more important than family,” explains C. H. Armstrong. She makes that abundantly clear in her debut historical fiction novel, “The Edge of Nowhere,” being released by Penner Publishing on January 19, 2016. Inspired by stories passed down from the large extended family of her late grandmother, Armstrong tells a poignant tale, weaving fact with fiction to explain why the family matriarch may have become the overbearing woman so misunderstood by her grandchildren.


The novel begins with a prologue, written in 1992 by a dying 87-year-old woman who offers no apologies or excuses for her desperate actions and life choices. She assures her family that the love she found so hard to demonstrate was bound up in lifelong secrets and invisible scars of survival: family tragedy, hunger and physical abuse, effects of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, challenging the strength of a young widow raising nearly a dozen  children—alone.



Diwali Festival of Lights: Annual Celebration in Rochester

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Written by By Shweta Raikar Anavekar

Children around the world are familiar with the excitement associated with Christmas—an occasion that has been celebrated through generations and is valued for its religious and cultural significance. Similarly, in India people await the grand celebrations associated with Deepavali, also known as Diwali. Diwali usually is celebrated during October or November. The exact day changes every year depending on the Hindu Lunar calendar. This year, Diwali is on November 11.  

Diwali is one of the most sacred, joy-filled and colorful festivals in India. In Sanskrit “Deepavali” means row of lamps (deep or diya). This festival is a Hindu celebration that is shared among other religions including Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.  Similar to the explosion of festivities seen at Christmas, there is an explosion of activities during Diwali that brings families and friends together, putting aside differences to remember an iconic event during the history of Hindu culture. Of all celebrations, Diwali, or the festival of lights, is undoubtedly the most well known and celebrated in India.


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