Our Own Story Started Simply…

The Wildling was an idea that tapped Megan Kaplan on the shoulder one day—and she knew she had to share it with her sister Mekea Duffy, her storytelling companion since childhood. A professional journalist and a literacy specialist, the sisters took their time piloting, drafting and redrafting The Wildling—a project meant to inspire and activate the natural born storyteller in every single person. Once we know that our lived content is our story and that we can share it out and express it freely, the liberation and wellness that comes from this elemental part of ourselves is magic.

The Wildling was officially hatched in 2018, and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way kids share and listen, releasing their voices in the world so they can feel their impact and know their worth.

We started by serving students in middle school all over the Twin Cities, and now our reach has traveled nationally and to various age groups and all styles of learners. We have learned that when given the tools and space, stories shared aloud foster personal well-being, empathy, and community. Our hope is to connect youth to their lived experiences and perspectives, show them that these parts of who they are truly matter—inside of themselves and in community with others. We’ve welcomed students from more than 24 different schools so far.

Our evidence-based curriculum includes improv games, writing exercises, meditation, workshopping, and plenty of time to practice telling stories aloud. Our staff to student ratio is 1:2, so participants get plenty of individual coaching. Above all else, we want every Wildling to walk away feeling their voice was heard and their story matters.


Our Growth Timeline

In our young life as a nonprofit organization, our total income has grown over 40% since 2018, and our number of participants impacted has grown twenty-fold. Here is a brief overview of TheWildling timeline:


The Wildling is born! Two workshops. 30 youth served.


Three workshops. 75 youth served. Boys + Girls Club partnership. Development of Story Coaches and program materials. 


Pandemic innovation through our Distance Jam. First edition publication of the signature Wildling Jambook . Three school partnerships. 


Launch of Story Booth and Brown But Black Voices. In addition to existing partners, added Beacons to the mix. 225 youth served. 


Development of Educator Hub, Jambook 2.0, and Educator Booklet. Developing partnerships with Minneapolis Parks, the YMCA, and Best Buy. With recent Jambook order, 700+ youth is our current head count.


Our goal is to continue introducing the power of storytelling to even more youth.