After graduating from Lewiston-Altura High School, Jesse Soderstrom was living at home with his mother while he was looking for an apartment. While waiting to find the right one, he worked at various stores in Lewiston, stocking shelves and helping customers. He eventually found an apartment at Iverson Court in Winona, and has lived there now for 14 years. He enjoys his apartment, which he has decorated with wall art and a special sword he bought, like the one Uma Thurman used in Kill Bill. It gets visitors talking!

He currently works in the cafeteria for Chartwells at Winona State University. He washes dishes for the main dining hall and Panda Express, a fast-food Chinese restaurant in the same building. He likes his job because he has met friends there. He also likes that he gets a free meal, which he often eats at Panda Express.

Depending on the weather, he either walks, bikes, or takes the bus to work. He also enjoys riding his bike around town, getting exercise, spending time outdoors, and watching the changes around him.

Jesse likes to play video games – especially action games. Gears of War and Mortal Combat are two favorites. He says he still likes to play Super Mario, too, “a classic.” He also has a lot of favorite TV shows, among them Game of Thrones, That 70s Show, and Euphoria. He watches movies on TV and likes to go the movies often. He is enjoying the Marvel series at the theater, and recently saw Dr. Strange. He warns moviegoers that if they haven’t been following the Marvel series, they are “going to be confused by Dr. Strange.” His friends often accompany him to the movies, but he also likes to go alone. “I just saw Black Widow seven times,” he says. It stars Scarlett Johansson. In the winter, he plays pool and darts.

His favorite meal is Zesty Ranch Wings at Sliced, a restaurant in downtown Winona near the movie theater. He does all his own cooking when he’s home, often just throwing something in the microwave since he is around ovens in the kitchen at work all day. He wants it to be “something that doesn’t have a lot of ingredients” like spaghetti, or a steak. If he has friends over, he’ll usually fix whatever they want. Maybe it will be ordering in a pizza, or the friend might say, “I want you to make me a steak!”

Jesse’s mother now lives in St. Charles. He says the rest of his family is spread out, some in Myrtle Beach, others in Arizona, California, and Illinois. He sometimes takes Amtrak to visit his grandmother, who is 95 and lives in Illinois. She is legally blind, so he will help her look for things. They most times just sit and talk.

Jesse likes his life, and says that as long as he has his own apartment, “I’ll be happy.”