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Storytelling group 1, Lesley Novick, Kim Vasquez, Michelle Westlund, and Bettiana Luisa LaSorella
Lesley Novick, Kim Vasquez, Michelle Westlund, and Bettiana Luisa LaSorella

Resilience doesn’t have to look a certain way.

Resilience can look a lot of ways. Today, we’re going to hear four different people give their response to the prompt, “Tell me about a time when you were resilient.”

These stories come from a storytelling class taught by Dane Stauffer. The class is part of a Creative Aging initiative from Aroha Philanthropies. The class is targeted for those over 55 years old, with some participants in their 80s. The goal of the program is to upend the narrative on aging.

These stories are told via Zoom during the pandemic. You can here Dane tell the backstory here.

For the next three episodes, we are going to present stories of resilience. What is surprising is the variety of these stories. It’s an important lesson.

Resilience doesn’t have to look a certain way.

Today, we present four stories of a gym class, clothes pins, September 11, and Pine-Sol.  

Michelle Westlund, Hang On

Bio: I’m originally from Ohio and am a huge Ohio sports fan. I work in marketing at Bethel University. I am also a grad student at Bethel Seminary. My biggest life accomplishment is my three adult kids, who are now my three best friends.

Bettiana Luisa LaSorella, The Curse

Bio: I live a life of wonderful adventure – – even though I hardly leave my kitchen. Children, books, stories, nature, and good friends have helped me through most of life’s lonely, fearful, and hard journeys as well as the happy ones. I keep dancing in my living room, reading, riding my bike, camping, cooking, and being surprised. Gratitude eases my days and love eases my nights.

Kim Vasquez, A Year of Resilience...I Think.

Bio: Kim is the Founding Artistic Producer of Gray Lady Entertainment, Inc., a Producer on the Broadway musical sensation Be More Chill running in London (pre-COVID) and a newly appointed Artistic Associate at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul (2021). Having lived and worked in NYC and Massachusetts for nearly 30 years she is thrilled to be back in the Twin Cities performing Storytelling with Dane Stauffer.

Lesley Novick, The Power of Pine-Sol

Bio: Lesley was born, raised, and formally educated in and around Minneapolis. After graduation from the University of Minnesota, she left Minnesota for what turned out to be a 23-year career working for an international hospitality company that brought her back to Minneapolis. Looking for a change and a chance to be her own boss, she became a Realtor and has been helping people buy and sell homes for 23 years…so far.

Learn More about Dane Stauffer and Aroha Philanthropies: