Women Who Rock

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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Jessie Garcia | Milwaukee, WI

“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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Yasmin Nur | Green Bay, WI

The Life-Changing Magic of Children’s Books

Miranda: I grew up in Green Bay, right near the edge of town. It used to be lots of cornfields and forests, but now it’s mostly subdivisions. I was a very early reader; I started reading before kindergarten. I didn’t grow up in a house with a lot of books, but we did have one of those complete …

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Miranda & Baptiste Paul | Bellevue, WI

“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. …

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Nadine Machkovech | Appleton, WI

“Everything in my life helped to make me who I am.”

In 2002 I had a stroke. It was odd because I didn’t even realize it was happening. A co-worker basically saved my life by noticing and taking action. We were both teachers in the Ojibwe Language program at the Lac du Flambeau Public School and I had to go on disability after the stroke. Photo …

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Mildred Tinker Schuman | Lac du Flambeau, WI

“I couldn’t see what the other kids were seeing.”

My maternal grandparents were a huge part of my life. They were at every school play, every softball game, every recital, every doctor’s appointment, everything. My father was not in our lives, but I lived with my mom and my sister, and my grandparents were basically like second parents. Especially my grandpa. I always felt …

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Melinda Dresen | Madison, WI

“I wanted to help marginalized people learn about their rights.”

I grew up in Cusco, Peru, which is an incredible place to grow up. My great-grandfather was the president of Peru and then my dad was the mayor of Cusco. People come to Cusco from all over the world. We grew up entertaining all kinds of people in our house. We always knew that we …

“I wanted to help marginalized people learn about their rights.” Read More »

Gladis Benavides | Madison, WI

“I am descended from people who embraced the breath of life.”

People assume just because I live here on the reservation that I’ve been here all my life. But I have to tell them no, I was born in Chicago, and I’m a product of the Indian Relocation Act. Photos by Megan Monday “The Indian Relocation Act was an initiative that displaced Native Americans from the …

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Edith Leoso | Odanah, WI