Maria Parrott-Ryan

“When I came back to America, I became more confident in who I was.”

My mom and dad are both from Somalia, and they came to the United States with their families when they were really young. They were fleeing the civil war in Somalia. Photos by Kara Counard “For the first 14 years of my life, I lived in Minnesota. In Minneapolis there’s a huge Somali population, but …

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From ‘Girl Reporter’ to Wisconsin’s First Female Sports Anchor

I was born in Madison in 1970. My mom is Jewish and from Long Island. My dad is Catholic, Mexican, and from Chicago. They met in the VISTA program (Volunteers in Service to America) and settled in Madison.  Photos by Gary Porter “In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Madison felt magical to me. At age ten …

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“I was going to do whatever it took to stay sober.”

I was born and raised here in Wisconsin, a Dodge County native—actually Beaver Dam. My parents had three girls: me, my sister, Nicolle, who’s nine years older than me, and my sister Natalie, who’s five years older than me. Photos by Kara Counard Content warning: This story contains references to substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. …

“I was going to do whatever it took to stay sober.” Read More »