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Natalie Benson

Gregory Owens

I learned of Bozeman Youth Initiative when I was finishing my undergraduate degree at MSU and was participating in the Horticulture Club. I was taken aback by BYI's drive to make kids' ideas turn into tangible goals and develop life long skills through teamwork and problem solving. I was excited the following year, 2011, when I became a volunteer teacher for their Bozone Ozone Bus.

Natalie Benson, 2010, to the far right in this picture, helping BYI plant seeds at the MSU Plant Growth Center.

This was a valuable experience. I had an excellent time teaching kids about greenhouse life.  During my time I saw kids exploring, learning and dissecting how something works.  Each time I was excited by BYI's drive to keep kids learning while building a stronger community through participation and sharing knowledge.  My time volunteering was as instructional and valuable for me as for the kids that came onto the greenhouse bus.

I also helped BYI put on a fundraising art show, selling local high school students art at Sacks Thrift. I enjoyed watching young artists make and sell their work for an organization that gave them the opportunity to take risks and be themselves.