family

Meet He’Lena

A smart, outgoing, funloving teen in search of a forever family When you meet 14-year-old He’Lena, it doesn’t take long to see what’s behind this sweet teen. She’s not only smart and motivated, she’s outgoing and, according to her foster family, “loves to be the entertainer.” You’d never know the trials she’s already faced in…

Out of the Box Education

How escape room style games are finding their way into the classroom Walking into Katy Lefler and Michael Thomas’ science class at Ben Steele Middle School is like stepping into an adventure. Kids are huddled over sheets of paper with a few large and small locked boxes in front of them. As the noise of…

Be the Lighthouse

Navigating the waters of the teenage years Being a teenager isn’t easy. It’s a slippery ledge between childhood and adulthood as teens lean out and into the risks and privileges of the grown-up world. Being the parent of a teenager can seem just as treacherous, a balancing act between holding the baby you’ve known forever…

Meet Tara

A sporty & smart teen longing for a ‘Forever Family’ With a sparkle in her eye, it doesn’t take long to realize that 14-year-old Tara has spunk and drive. She’s also a kid who wears her heart on her sleeve. As one of nine kids, this teen is currently living in a group home, hoping…

Hitting the Motherlode

The summer we shared our backyard and a whole lot more There is nothing I love more than a little adventure. It’s the precise reason why my husband and I ended up with two strangers camping in our backyard, eating watermelon on the patio one Fourth of July.   This story begins with my decision…

A Crisis in Care

The staggering statistics involving kids in foster care On any given day, most social workers in our region look at the rising caseload that sits on their desks. Many carry three times the number of cases that is ideal. Workers oversee anywhere from 40 to 60 cases at a time, trying to make sure each…

A Part-Time Job in Love

The toll family caregiving can take It may have been upwards of four decades ago, but Kathie Burke still vividly remembers getting the panicked call from emergency workers. Her grandfather, Charlie, had become disoriented and instead of backing his truck out of the garage, he hit the gas, sending the half-ton vehicle careening through the…

The Art of Family Game Night

Family, Friends & No Cell Phones On a cold, snowy night inside a house on Front Street in Josephine Crossing, two families warmed with laughter talk without cell phones. With fun-filled card and board games, the Bentz and Pierce families come together for camaraderie and fun.  With food inspirations from Cynthia Nim’s cookbook, Gourmet Game…

A Dynamic Duo

Ariana & Aaron, twins looking for a ‘Forever Family’ Aaron and Ariana are two bubbly toddlers. They are inquisitive. While both only know a few words, they make sure that you know they have a lot to say. “They can light up a room with their smiles,” says their social worker, Lindsey Iczkowski. You’d never…

Putting an End to Homework Hassles

Battle back against procrastination this school year If you’re a parent of school-aged kids, just mention the phrase, “Have you done your homework yet?” and you’re bound to get a healthy mix of huffing and eye rolling intermixed with excuses as to why it’s just not a good time to hit the books. With the…

Battling Drug Addiction in the Tiniest of Patients

Dr. Alison Rentz helps change the culture of care in the NICU When Neonatologist Dr. Alison Rentz makes her rounds at Saint Vincent Healthcare, she’s checking up on some the city’s most fragile residents. Her patients’ tiny heads don hats in shades of soft pink or baby blue. Tubes can be seen delivering nourishment as…

Giving Families a Fighting Chance

Billie Clark unleashes angels on two wheels to help families in need On June 11, 2011, 12-year-old Sydney Hedges was playing at a park in Colstrip, Montana when she unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest.  She was transported to Billings where doctors discovered she had an astrocytoma, a brain tumor, growing in the back portion of…

A Radical Change of Heart

Billings family shares the hope and healing behind fostering children Ellyn Scansen will never forget the morning that she thought was just a routine Sunday trip to church. Instead, this day brought a twist of fate, one that forever changed her heart and the heart of her family. “The whole story starts with this card,”…

“I couldn’t have done it without them”

Young Families provides a safety net for teen moms As a teen mother, Payton Shreeve endured judgmental stares whenever she took her infant daughter to the grocery store. She can still feel the sting of the snide comments she received from total strangers. Most are too harsh to repeat. She was even chastised by her…

Your Map to a Whitewater Adventure

Explore the area’s thrillingly beautiful river rapids Untamed. Operating by its own set of rules. Challenging. Pristine. All could be used to describe the crisscrossing beauty of our area’s waterways. Come summer when the mountain runoff delivers a swift rush straight through nature, folks from all over the world will don lifejackets and become whitewater…

Treasure Hunting

Billings family spends valuable time rock hounding Montana Early on a beautiful chilly morning, Bruce Bahm, Heather Thompson, and their three grade-school age children set out east of Hardin for a rock picking adventure. Arriving at the destination bundled up against the elements, the family is armed with buckets, hammers, screwdrivers and an eagle eye…

Girls-N-Science

Innovative program breaks down gender roles to spark interest Imagine Middle Ages warfare. What does it take to chuck boulders at your opponent? It takes accuracy and calculating the proper distance to reach your target. It’s an engineering problem that girls at last year’s Chicks in Science got to tackle at the Montana State University…

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