By James L. Stroud, Jr.
On December 3, 2011, the Minnesota Jaycees organization held their Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) awards celebration at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Park. Associate Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds of the University of St. Thomas law school was recognized as one of those outstanding 10 people. Since 1950, the TOYM program has recognized outstanding young leaders ages 18-40 statewide. The young leaders are acknowledged for their contributions to Minnesota through service, thought, influence, community involvement and/or entrepreneurship. Continue Reading →
“My name is Rachel Campbell, and I’m straight up off the block.”
These are the words that Campbell uses when she stands before her women’s group at the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility (ACF) each week. What she means is that she too has stood behind those bars looking out at a world that has offered neither kindness nor help when she desperately needed it. She knows what it feels like to be “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” and she has paid the price for giving up on herself and her dreams.
Campbell grew up in a poor family with a single mother and nine siblings. She loved her family, but ongoing issues of abuse and neglect led to feelings of hopelessness and anger — feelings that often drive teens to unhealthy choices. She left home early and began spending time with men and women who further diminished her chances of a happy or healthy future. Continue Reading →