The Aliveness Project welcomes several new staff to the team. We are excited to see what new accomplishments we will achieve together. Learn more about each person in their bio below.
Bruce Weihsmantel (he/him) – Mendical Case Management
I’m from Illinois originally from Illinois but have lived on both coasts and have been in Minneapolis for eight years now, this is the longest I’ve stayed in one spot and I owe that to the beauty of Minnesota and its people! Up until now my career focus has been primarily in food service as a server and bartender but over the years I’ve felt more of a drive to be in a helping position. That desire to help others has led me to Minneapolis College where I graduated with an associate’s degree with a focus on social work. Outside of school and work I fill my time with precious moments with my cat Tony, a 20-year old Flame Point Siamese who drools a lot, biking, and playing a lot of video games. I am excited to nurture my skills learned through my education and learn and grow with the community at the Aliveness Project.
Isabella Franklin (she/her) – Social Serivces Intern
My name is Isabella and I’m a student at St. Olaf College studying political science! Outside of work I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and going on long walks around my neighborhood. I’m so excited to learn all I can during my time at Aliveness!
Teal Walters (she/her) – Wellness Nutritionist
Born and raised in the Southeast Metro of MN, Teal recognized her passion for nutrition and all things food at a young age. Her curiosity was peaked about the various health benefits she was receiving and providing her family when she cooked for them. In 2013, she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and did not receive the nutrition counseling and education she greatly needed. After doing much of her research, she was enlightened by how much the foods she ate impacted her health. Teal’s life goal is to advocate for the nutritional health and well-being of all, so they do not experience what she did. After graduating with a BS in dietetics at St. Catherine University, Teal completed her dietetic internship with the University of Minnesota. Most recently, Teal was hired at the Aliveness Project where she is excited to provide members with nutrition care they may not otherwise receive due to multiple barriers. In her free time, you can catch her doing one of many things including cycling, playing bass guitar, hiking with her dogs, Gordon and Titus, dancing, or watching true crime shows. If Teal could listen to only one album for the rest of her life it would be Sun Eater by Job For a Cowboy.
Ray Gonzalez (he/him) – HIV Prevention & Outreach
I was born in Mexico, but grew up here in the state of Minnesota. I moved up to the twin cities from Austin MN, four years ago. Wanting to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. I currently also work at one of Minneapolis well known queer bar The Saloon. Now I’m excited to be impacting the community in a different atmosphere. Also accomplishing one of my goals. That was becoming part of The Aliveness Project Team!
Maddie Benzuly (she/her) – External Relations Intern
Maddie is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota studying Sociology and Strategic Communications with a minor in Business Management. After college, she plans to go into social work. Maddie is super excited to work at Aliveness this summer and helping with Red Ribbon Ride!
Nicole Hill (she/her) – Social Work Intern