The Ketochi

Student Leaders Attend MBI Youth Days

Cascade%27s+student+leaders+participate+in+a+service+project+during+MBI+Youth+Days.
Cascade's student leaders participate in a service project during MBI Youth Days.

Cascade's student leaders participate in a service project during MBI Youth Days.

Photo courtesy Matt Driessen

Photo courtesy Matt Driessen

Cascade's student leaders participate in a service project during MBI Youth Days.

Quincy Balius, Student Editor

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Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI) promotes a school culture that “establishes emotional, social, and academic success for all students.” In order to achieve this end, the organization is represented in schools all across Montana by groups of elected students. These students work on projects to improve their schools and the lives of students within their schools.

Each year, MBI holds several Youth Leadership Days in cities throughout Montana. The conference situated in Great Falls was held from October 25-26 at the Holiday Inn.

Cascade’s MBI/Student Council attended the conference along with a small group of students who exemplify leadership traits in Cascade Schools. These students left Cascade at one p.m. on October 24th and began the conference at three o’clock with a speech by conference leader Joe Moriarty.

Students were divided into three groups and spent the afternoon circulating between three “break-out sessions,” which gave details about Special Olympics, educated students on stress and how to prevent it, and listened to a TED talk on ‘The Three A’s of Awesome.’

The representatives then ate dinner and each school gave a presentation on their school’s MBI progress, as well as the projects going on in their schools.

Students retired to their bedrooms in the hotel to rest before the busy day on Monday. They woke up and enjoyed a continental breakfast while receiving their service project assignments, which took up the majority of the remainder of the day. These service projects included cleaning at the Great Falls Rescue Mission, gardening in the Peapod Gardens, and visiting with senior citizens at Highgate Senior Living, among others.

The representatives traveled with their service teams on buses with chaperons from their schools. They were shown around their service locations and given tasks to do there, then returned to the Holiday Inn around noon. The representatives then gave a presentation to the group as a whole on what they had learned while taking part in the service project.

Service organizations such as Boys and Girls Club and Special Olympics made presentations to the MBI representatives, and Moriarty closed out the conference by having each student write a letter to his or her future self about MBI and what he or she hoped to achieve in their school.

Matt Driessen, who leads the MBI team and teaches science in Cascade High School, said that he “brought a wonderful group of kids to the conference who were called upon by adults…to step into leadership roles at a moment’s notice. This is really a testament to how strong the leadership program is in Cascade. We have great kids who are doing great things.”

Cascade’s MBI/Student Council members will continue several annual projects, such as chariot races, Pi Day, and the 50 Million Word reading challenge.  This year, they will also begin a math challenge in the winter that will include the entire K-12 student body. The MBI team is also working on filling the school with motivational posters that will “cause students to think about themselves and how they fit into the community.”

Cascade’s MBI Youth Leadership is reaching newer and greater heights this year.

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Student Leaders Attend MBI Youth Days