Double Dutch draws St. Paul youth like moths to a flame

Like moths to a flame, Double Dutch is the perfect sport for attracting kids and keeping them moving and motivated throughout the summer. Parents, friends, community members and double dutch enthusiasts packed into the Jimmy Lee Rec Center for the Third Annual Jump Jam Double Dutch Challenge on Aug. 16. Event-goers enjoyed a family resource fair and watched this year’s lineup of Double Dutch teams square off against each other. The event capped off a ten-week fitness program centered around Double Dutch that is sponsored through a partnership between Saint Paul YWCA, Health Partners and the City of Saint Paul. Continue Reading

Rondo Days celebrates 30 years in St. Paul

You couldn’t have asked for better weather for the Rondo Days Grand Parade and Festival in Saint Paul, Saturday, July 20. The temperature was comfortably warm and the skies clear, as young and old gathered to celebrate the 30 Year Anniversary of the Rondo Days Festival. The Rondo Days Festival gives a nod to the community’s historic past, serving as a reunion of sorts for its former residents, while at the same time embracing and celebrating the new neighborhood. The old Rondo community, which was home to Saint Paul’s largest African-American neighborhood, is fondly remembered today as a self-sustaining haven that allowed African-Americans the opportunity to dream and flourish beyond society’s harsh racial landscape. The Rondo community served as an economic, social, and cultural foundation for its residents, a foundation that was uprooted by the construction of I-94 in the mid-1960s. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Fire and ice: Sierra Leone Samuels referees with a cool hand

“The boxing ring is my living room and I’m going to let you two play fight in the living room. But if you start breaking stuff and acting like fools, I will step in and shut it down…” – Sierra Leone Samuels, boxing referee
The boxing ring has a way of revealing character and teaching lessons. Those who enter unprepared or unfocused are often exposed. For amateur boxing referee, Sierra Leone Samuels, the boxing ring has provided a test of nerves, judgment, and reason—so far she’s passing with flying colors. Samuels wasn’t the biggest fan of boxing when her sister talked her into visiting a boxing class years ago. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Getting past fear to flourish: Meet Aida Al-Kadi

 “You can produce at any age. You can create at any age. Nurture yourself, expose yourself, and keep thriving” – Aida Al-Kadi

It’s been a long and bumpy road these last nine months, but Aida Al-Kadi is glad she stuck it out. Going back to school after decades of not having set foot in a classroom was a daunting challenge. But with nothing to lose, Al-Kadi took the plunge, jumping into an intense nine-month program at Takoda Institute in south Minneapolis. Continue Reading