Q: What are you most afraid of?

Rosa Bogar. Photos by Stephanie Glaros

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

Hillary Olson

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

Shon Rodriguez
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.