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Coach Jennifer Wigchers Weber Joins the Board of Friends of the Mill District

Article by Claudia Kittock

A few years ago, I asked for a meeting with Ilhan Omar’s chief of staff. The purpose of the meeting was to learn the best way to invite the Cedar Riverside community to events in the Mill District. Her immediate response was, “Do you know Coach Jennifer Weber?” I didn’t, but quickly set up a meeting. We ‘clicked’ and began a friendship and working relationship that continues to click!

Jennifer Wigchers Weber, or ‘Coach’ as she is known by everyone, is an extraordinary woman. She is the mother of 3 grown children, and decided when the last had left the house that she was going back to college. She chose Augsburg and began her work toward a teaching license in special education. Part of that degree is working as an aide in a school, and Jennifer chose the charter school, Cedar Riverside Community School. After earning her degree, Jennifer became the behavior specialist at the school and recently added the title of Community Liaison.

The first project Jennifer and I collaborated on was the founding of the Mill City Players. Jennifer has been incredibly successful in getting many young people from the Cedar Riverside community interested in becoming actors in our troupe. Everything we have been able to do with the Players has been because of our partnership with Jennifer and the community.

Coach Jennifer with Cedar Riverside youth and their innovative Sports Check It Out program.

Jennifer also noticed the lack of youth sports in the Cedar Riverside community. Her plan for changing that was sheer genius. Jennifer decided to begin every sport with a girls team. She consulted with the elders in the community, and with other partners was able to design a sports hijab that allowed the girls to play sports while satisfying the need to be modest in dress. Once the girls team started, the boys were clamoring to have a team too! Notice the genius of her brain! There are no limits to Coach Jennifer’s creativity, her drive, nor her devotion to our neighboring community.

Friends of the Mill District is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Wigchers Weber to their board. With coach Jennifer comes the addition of the sports programs she designed, founded and continues to coach. The future of our charity just got a lot more interesting! Stay tuned for more announcements.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).


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