Rosa Bogar, Minneapolis
Most of the time, nothing (laughs). Really. I don’t have that much fear. Every day is a challenge and I just face that. I’m a person who lives in the moment. I guess after you get older you feel that way. I don’t have time to fear. That’s how I look at life.
I didn’t always do that. I would always be fearful of things when I was a single mother. Wondering how I was going to raise my two sons being African-American and living in North Minneapolis. Those were the fears I had when they were teenagers, but they’re grown men today. I never had to do a lot of the things that so many single mothers had to do. Go to jail to get their kids out, or juvenile. Go see them in prison. I didn’t have to do none of those things. And that’s a blessing.
Q: How did they manage to avoid that?
One of the things I give credit to is a place called Hospitality House. That was a community center, like The Way. They say that Prince spent a lot of time at The Way. For me, it was Hospitality House. Every time my sons would go there, I knew they would be safe. Those places protected our children. Once I knew my kids were at Hospitality House, I knew I had nothing to worry about.
Hillary Olson, St. Paul
Probably losing people in my life. Growing up, my biggest fear was that my parents weren’t gonna be alive, because I had older parents. But I lost my dad four years ago. That was my biggest fear, and it happened. Losing people is a big change in your life. You have to adjust. You always grow, but it’s different.
I think when you have death that happens close to you, you don’t romanticize it. I really dislike when it’s romanticized. I don’t fear dying myself, but I know that it hurts losing people and that it changes you.
Q: How did losing your dad change you?
I think it made me grow up, and it made me value my parents a lot sooner than maybe I would have. I immediately started thinking about the value of people in my life. Because I’ve had death close to me, it has really made me appreciate the day-to-day.
Shon Rodriguez, Minneapolis
The fear of failing has held me back from getting a place of my own. Just the fear of growing up and becoming an adult, having all that responsibility. I’m technically homeless and I don’t have a job right now. I’m couch-surfing. It’s not ideal, but I’m making it work. It’s hard to get a job without a place, but then you need money to get a place. It’s hard to do one without the other.
My grandmother raised my siblings and me, and I wasn’t the best kid to raise. I was stealing from her. I wouldn’t listen to her. I was always making things tough for her. Mostly I was angry, ‘cause I when I was a kid I lost my mother and my dad left. I didn’t feel like I had anybody. My grandmother could only take so much and she kicked me out. I don’t blame her for anything. She’s my hero, and I love her so much. But it’s been a tough road since then.
Q: How did you lose your mom?
She passed away. She had a stroke and fell and hit her head. I was 7 years old. It was very confusing, but it made me who I am today. I’m a very understanding person, and I get that things just happen. You should live your life to the fullest, but you have to be smart about it, too. And I haven’t really been the smartest. But I’m still living life, and I’m still happy every day. I find the silver lining in everything. You have to try to be that way in these types of situations.