Helena students receive Harrison Writing Awards

The following students recently earned Harrison Writing Awards from the Helena Education Foundation: Expository — Nicole Loraas and Kristen Ingman; Creative — Elena Hodges and Liz Hartley, all of Helena High School.

Hays recognized for achievement at St. Olaf College

Megan Hays, of Helena, was recognized at St. Olaf College for academic achievement at the college’s annual honors day, which honors students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher.

Hays is studying history and social studies education and is a graduate of Capital High School.

Helenan graduates from University of Portland

Neil Benkelman, of Helena, recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Portland.

Haseman inducted into honor society

Whitney Kay Haseman, a Helena High graduate and cellular, molecular and developmental biology/bio-chemistry major at the University of Colorado-Boulder has been inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

Jefferson students to attend music camp In New Orleans

Three Jefferson High students have been selected to attend an intensive music camp at prestigious Tulane University. Sophomores Connor Lanchenbruch and Clint Forrette will be joined with junior Michael McKelligott for the program that runs June 7 through 30, in beautiful New Orleans.

The camp is run by Positive Vibrations, a non-profit foundation whose purpose is to see peace and unity through development and preservation of the arts, music, culture and heritage. Only 16 out-of-state places for students 14 to 17 were awarded throughout the entire U.S.

Students will be housed at Tulane and receive a variety of cultural, music, art, theater and movement workshops taught by professionals. They will attend music and arts events throughout the city and jam with professional musicians.

JHS student to attend Boston Conservatory

Hunter Stekettee, at student at Jefferson High School, has been chosen to study at the prestigious Boston Conservatory of Music this July in a month-long summer program that focuses on vocal performance and musical theater.

Grants available for MT youth-led service learning projects

The Governor’s Office of Community Service and Hopa Mountain a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization, announced today the availability of competitive grants of up to $15,000  for Youth Leaders in Service. This Learn and Serve America grant program is designed to engage rural and tribal youth, ages 11 to 17, living in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, in leading service activities that create healthier communities.

Local youth organizations are invited to work with youth leaders to determine a meaningful community-service project and apply for grant support to implement their youth-led initiative during the fall of 2010 through the summer of 2011.

 Hopa Mountain’s mission is to invest in rural and tribal citizen leaders, adults and youth, who are working to improve education, ecological health and economic development.

To be eligible for the grant, a preliminary application must be completed by June 30. The preliminary application includes participation in a four-day service learning training that will take place Aug. 9 through 12 at Luccock Park Camp in Paradise Valley. The preliminary application can be found at http://hopamountain">http://hopamountain.

org/programs. Final applications will be due Oct. 1 and will be made available to attendees at the August service-learning training.

Up to 16 grantees will be chosen in a competitive application process to receive up to $15,000 in funds. Funds must be matched 1:1 in cash or in-kind support by grantee organizations. Rural (towns with less than 35,000 people) and tribal communities are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to participating organizations that serve a high percentage of children through free and reduced lunch programs.

Hopa Mountain will provide ongoing training and technical assistance to selected youth program leaders and teen citizen leaders throughout the Northern Rockies.

Hopa Mountain will host five free, informational webinars, throughout June, on Youth Leaders in Service. Each webinar will offer an introduction to service-learning, a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction on civic responsibility and building community leadership and connections.

A free webinar is scheduled June 14 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Free rides for youth this summer

Youth Connections recently announced free bus services for Helena youth ages 7 to 19 during the summer break.

“There are so many activities for young people this summer, and providing free bus rides eliminates a really big hurdle for parents and students that would like to attend,” said Drenda Carlson, director of Youth Connections. “We also think Helena businesses, agencies and organizations will benefit from the increased participation, admission fees and other purchases while the kids are having fun.”

Helena students can catch the Check Point between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the trolley 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to many activity locations, as well as to and from the east valley and East Helena.

Youth Connections has also launched a new Facebook page “Helena Teen Activities,” which includes HATS bus information and many summer activities hosted by businesses, clubs, churches and other organizations in the Helena area. Anyone offering youth activities in Helena this summer is encouraged to add their own event to the page.

Youth Connections Coalition seeks to create opportunities for youth in our community to thrive and succeed and reduce risky behaviors.

CASA recognizes community volunteers and young artists

CASA – Advocates for Kids, a private, non-profit agency in Helena that gives voices to abused and neglected children, recently held its eigth annual awards ceremony at the Capital Rotunda.

Cheryl Ronish, local psychotherapist, and Mary Grant, CASA volunteer, were presented with the 2010 community service awards.

All elementary school students in the Helena area were invited to participate in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month by decorating a candle. The winners of that contest were kindergarten, Brooke Woodmansey, Smith School; first grade, Keelin Connolly, Hawthorne School; second grade Cyleste Gonzales, Four Georgians; third grade, Kennedy Walsh, Warren School; fourth grade, Faith Johnson, Hawthorne School; and fifth grade Jerry Buckman, Four Georgians School.

CASA provides trained volunteers who serve as advocates for abused, neglected and abandoned children. Since CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) began in October, 1998, it has set a record of meeting all the demands made by the First Judicial District Court — a volunteer for every child in need.

Children with CASA volunteers benefit in many ways because children are more likely to be placed in safe, permanent homes; more likely to receive better services; and less likely to encounter numerous placement changes. The National CASA Association estimates that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years in care: 13.3 percent of CASA cases versus 27 percent of all children in foster care.

CASA helps “permanently close” cases involving abused and neglected children. In other words, children served by CASA volunteers are less likely to reenter the child welfare system. Only 9 percent of CASA children compared to 16 percent of all others will end up back in the system after a case is closed. For more information visit www.helenacasa.org.

Helena residents make dean’s list at University of Portland

Renee Erb, a freshman studying music; Morgan McCarthy, sophomore studying biology; and Hannah Weber, a freshman studying nursing, were named to the dean’s list at the University of Portland for the spring semester.

 Students need at least a 3.5 grade point average to be eligible for the dean’s list.

Helena teachers receives prestigious award

Sandra Wardell, Helena High School biology teacher, recently received the 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Inspirational Teacher Award.

High School teachers are given the annual award by MIT through nominations from students. Wardell was nominted by Lindsay Johnson, a 2007 HHS graduate.

In her nominate letter Johnson said she thinks of her former high school teacher almost every day.

“Every time I learn something new and exciting about biology, I feel an almost irresistible compulsion to e-mail you,” her letter reads. “And every day that I walk past the beautiful skyline of Boston, I think of you, because I know that it is solely because of you that I am here. All of my friends know about you, and about the impact that you have had in my life. Your care for me and your constant willingness to go out of your way to support me in all of my ventures remains one of my most important memories from high school. Thank you for your brilliance, your compassion, your love. I love you too.”

Sixteen students in the Helena area receive MUS scholarships

 The Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program (MGSLP) recently announced that 16 students from the Helena area were offered the Montana University System Honor Scholarship.

The MUS Honor Scholarship is a renewable scholarship offered by the Montana Board of Regents that waives undergraduate tuition for up to eight semesters at any campus of the Montana University System or Dawson, Flathead Valley or Miles community colleges.

Students offered this scholarship must be graduates of an accredited Montana high school with a minimum grade point average of 3.4 at the end of their seventh semester in high school, take either the ACT or SAT standardized test, meet college preparatory requirements and attend an eligible campus.

In 2007, the Board of Regents authorized a statewide high school competition based on a GPA ranking score combined with an ACT composite score creating a total MUS Honor Scholarship composite score from which students offered the scholarship were selected. The following students live in the Helena area and have been offered the MUS Honor Scholarship.

The follow students received the award: Alexa Robischon, Broadwater High School; Rebecca Boslough, Capital High School; Chelsea Carlson, CHS; Brittani Nickol, CHS; Lance Stukaloff, CHS; Meta Downhour, Helena High School; Benjamin Hills, HHS; Theodore Lanier, HHS; Maria Nelson, HHS; Ann Seeley, HHS, Jessica Stanisich, HHS; Alaine Field, BHS; Texel Feder, CHS; Keegan Boyer, HHS; Tarryn Vavruska, HHS; and Lucas Senechal, Jefferson High School.

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