Sep/Oct
2016

Proud of My Life

Print Email
Written by Jorrie Johnson

I recently saw a Facebook post from a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who said, “My friends went off to college or to their chosen job while I went off to serve in the U.S.M.C. When we both look back on our respective lives, they'll like theirs, but I am DAMN proud of mine.” I honor and respect our veterans for giving their time and lives to serve our country. 

I, too, am DARN proud of the choices I have made. I got married when I was 19 years old. Earned a bachelor’s degree by the time I was 25 years old while supporting myself and living far away from home. I am proud that I became a mom at 26 years old and had two more children. Being a mom comes with demanding hours and little gratitude, especially when it comes to preparing healthy meals that young palettes don’t appreciate. I started RochesterWomen magazine as a home-based business when I was 30 years old, so that I could work from home and be the kind of mom I wanted to be (present). I earned a Master of Business Administration and have had the opportunities to pursue further leadership and project management education. I have completed three sprint triathlons and continue to live a healthy lifestyle. I chose to get divorced when I was 41 years old. At 46 years old, I don’t regret not climbing the corporate ladder, making it to every before and after hours meeting or social event with friends. When I am 90 years old, I want to be proud of my life and my decisions too. In the end, I hope I give my children enough and myself enough time to enjoy life.

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Bringing the Community into Rochester Public Schools

Print Email
Written by Trish Amundson Photography by Fagan Studios

Academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement are integrated at community school, which is “both a place and set of partnerships between the school and other community resources,” according to communityschools.org. “Community schools offer a personalized curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning and community problem solving. Schools become centers of the community.”

Community schools are catching on across the country. In Rochester, Riverside Central Elementary School and Gage Elementary School are taking part in a two-year pilot partnership to become full-service community schools. They offer a range of services and opportunities for children and their families that promote school readiness, consistent attendance, student health and family engagement. Assessments—and lessons learned—provide valuable insights to identify and address needs and deliver educational excellence that will stand the test of time.

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Walking School Bus: Healthy, Safe and Social

Print Email
Written by Gina Dewink

Only 16 percent of our nation’s children walk or bike to school, down from 42 percent a generation ago. Other countries, such as Australia and England, have been coordinating groups of children to walk to school together for a decade or more. these days, Rochester is receiving state recognition for its very own Walking School Bus.

Simplicity of Walking

A Walking School Bus is a group of neighborhood children walking together to school. The group is supervised by volunteer parents, referred to as “drivers.” JoAnne Judge-Dietz works for the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), which strives to help Minnesotans lead longer, healthier lives. Judge-Dietz says a Walking School Bus is “a simple concept, but one we have lost over time. We forget how simple and smart it is to walk.”

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Back-to-School Supplies Needed: Pencils, Notebooks, and Interpreters–Their First Ears and Their Voice

Print Email
Written by Renee Berg Photos by Dawn Sanborn Photography

If there's anyone who understands the needs of non-English speakers living in Rochester, it's Susana Boggs, a local interpreter and immigrant. Boggs was born in Argentina to Laos-born parents, who had moved continents for a better life. Their new life in Argentina wasn't without its challenges, Boggs recalls.

"Growing up, we didn't have interpreters," Boggs says. "I've come to think, how was my mom able to communicate with people?"

Boggs grew up speaking Spanish and Laotian, but upon moving to Rochester at age 18 at the behest of her parents, she was thrust into a world where she didn't know the language. Gradually, by taking classes, Boggs learned English. She watched her uncle's kids, met her husband, Michael, and had three daughters.

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Diversifying Rochester's Workforce: Ethnicity, Women and Veteran-Owned Businesses

Print Email
Written by Sarah Oslund Photography by Fagan Studios

When it comes to operating a small business, Minnesota is a great place to be. According to the 2015 Kauffman Foundation Main Street Entrepreneurship Index, Minnesota ranks first for the rate of small business ownership and second for businesses owned by women.

Combine the current rankings with the Destination Medical Center vision to generate high-value jobs, additional tax revenue and new businesses in Rochester, and starting a small business here seems like a no-brainer. However, starting a new venture can seem daunting even to a seasoned business professional. And when you factor in challenges related to gender, language and culture, it can seem overwhelming. 

Making Her Way

Born in the Philippines, Joselyn Raymundo and her family immigrated to the United States when she was 16 years old. “We saw the great opportunity this country offers to young people,” Joselyn says, “and my parents wanted that for us.” But the English language isn’t an easy one to master. “I could speak some English when we arrived, but my fluency wasn’t great,” Joselyn recalls. “I learned a lot about the language and American culture by reading ‘Nancy Drew.’”

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Hijab for a Day: Fostering Dialogue Through Perspective

Print Email
Written by Grace Murray Photos by Dawn Sanborn Photography

For one day, four Rochester women volunteered to wear a hijab—the headscarf traditionally worn by Muslim women—to work, school, Even Starbucks, all while being filmed for Community Interfaith Dialogue in Islam’s (CIDI) newest documentary, “Hijab for a Day.” 

CIDI was founded by Regina Mustafa in 2014 to meet a need and provide an opportunity for a reliable resource on Islam and interfaith conversation. The organization is grounded in information being mutually shared, so doing the hijab project was a natural next step.

“This kind of thing has been done in other cities,” Mustafa remarks, “but I hadn’t heard of it being done in Rochester, especially one that was well-documented.” With the help of a Rochester Downtown Alliance grant, the documentary will now be a full-fledged community event, hosted by the Rochester Civic Theatre.

 

Editor’s note: We want to recognize the achievements of and opportunities for young women (under 25 years of age) in science and technology in southeastern Minnesota. Please send ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Midwest Academic High Altitude Conference

Andrea Walker and Nathan Brown, students at Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC), were among the presenters at this year’s Midwest regional meeting of the Academic High Altitude Conference held at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 29. 

“This is the first year RCTC has participated in the conference,” says professor Dr. Rod Milbrandt. The Stratospheric Ballooning Association has held the conference each June for the last seven years in the Midwest region. “Presenting at St. Catherine’s gave us a wonderful opportunity to share our experience with the scientific community,” says Andrea Walker.

“I first became interested in physics when I attended the RCTC Physics and Engineering demo show with my dad while I was in middle school,” says Andrea. She remembers how seeing those experiments brought science to life. Durring her junior year in high school, Andrea took physics and, at RCTC, took the calculus-based physics series. Her love for the subject continues to grow. Andrea plans to continue her education at the University
of Minnesota.  

 

Sep/Oct
2016

I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman: Lindsey Polin's Journey

Print Email
Written by Elizabeth Harris Photography by Tracey McGuire and Dawn Sanborn

An evening filed with emotion began as Lindsey Polin’s mom, sister, grandma and friends gathered at Zzest to see her photos for the first time. After all were comfortably seated, her mother, Kristen Herring-Asleson, tearfully read aloud the nomination letter she wrote.

A Mother’s Love

I am nominating my daughter, Lindsey Polin, as one of your Beautiful Women. At the tender age of 17, Lindsey was an addict who spent two years of her life in and out of treatment. In 2010, she discovered sobriety, but she also discovered she was pregnant. Out of pure selflessness, at the age of 19, she lovingly created an adoption plan for her firstborn child. That same year, my sister and her husband were given the news that they could not have their own children. Lindsey gave them the first choice to be the adoptive parents, which they excitedly accepted. When Lindsey’s daughter was born, she lovingly kissed her cheeks and handed her to her new parents.

In essence, although she struggled with low self-esteem and confidence, everyone who knew her knew that she was capable of having confidence and self-esteem.  She just had to believe in herself in order for those things to shine through. Yet, when she hurt on the inside, it was evident on the outside whose who saw her self-inflicted scars. 

 

Sep/Oct
2016

2016 Fall Showcase and Remodeler's Tour

Print Email
Written by Rochester Women Magazine

2016 Fall Showcase of Homes Entries

 

love to visit open houses and get ideas for my future dream home. Whether that dream home ever actually materializes isn’t the point; it’s the dreaming that keeps me coming back. when I was asked to write about Rochester Area Builder’s 2015 Fall Showcase of Homes Division 1 (homes over $600,000) winner, built by Range Custom Homes, I couldn’t wait to get my own private tour of this gorgeous home.

When the appointed day to tour this spectacular beauty finally arrived, I knew I was in for something special. As I pulled into the driveway, the home, nestled on the end of a cul-de-sac, was warm and welcoming and afforded peaceful views of a lush, wooded backyard. 

The lucky owners of this stunning home, Dean and Rachael Potter, stepped into the home buying process just as the fun part was about to begin. Rachael says that she and her husband were looking at new construction, and when they walked into this home, she immediately felt that it was designed perfectly for their family. They selected many of the finishing touches, but chose to include many of the items, especially the lighting, that were originally slated to go into the home. Rachael gushes as she talks about the design elements of this house, sharing that Shannon Range, design stylist for Range Custom Homes, created the perfect ambiance for their sanctuary.

 

Page 22 of 71

Home | About Us | Advertise | Read | Connect | Subscribe | Submit | Contact Us

Rochester Women Magazine, Women Communications, L.L.C
PO Box 5986, Rochester, MN 55903, 507-259-6362

Copyright 2016