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Zach Ostrovsky

Gregory Owens

Bozeman Youth Initiatiative sparked an interest in my mind when Greg Owens walked into the 2008 junior class of (What the heck was it?) (Note: "Active Citizenship" w/Erica Huntingdale -g.o.) and made an offer to my classmates and I. He said, simply, "Approach me with an idea, and a passion to back that thought up. We will then see what we can do to help make that dream become a reality."

(L) Jelica Summerfield, one of the BYI volunteers who worked with Zach Ostrovsky (R) and others to make the BOB bus a reality. 

            To my account, I was surprisingly one of, if not the only individual who spoke with Greg after that offer was presented to the full classroom. Initially, we spoke about my dream, to simply make a greenhouse. Then we made it our dream and mission, and met with community members of all types. The final project transformed into something much wilder than the basic greenhouse we had foreseen; the outcome of our community's vision lives to this day, visiting schools on the regular, educating people about plants and foods.  Thanks to the community's collaboration, schools, university, library, and laser focus, we helped make ourselves a school bus greenhouse we call the Bozone mobile greenhouse. Most importantly, the result of community work keeps returning positivity to the community. My most beautiful return was the thought of helping create a community schoolhouse; we love eating food, we love knowing where our food comes from, and we love teaching.

            Remember the story of two people with a goal, meeting with students, volunteers, and experts to create a tool the community imagined, created, and keeps utilizing. Everything between inception of the bus to daily maintenance remains because of collaboration and hard work. Persistence is key, plants continue to grow, and Bozeman Youth Initiative lives on, they are right there (I may point at you.) There's much room for improvement, and they happen to be great listeners and have the peculiar ability to make things happen. So, dream on, and keep expressing your dreams!