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After-school group helps teens push pause to reflect and connect

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | October 23, 2021 12:00 AM

The Undaunted Collective is seeking middle and high school students from around the valley to join the new after-school program, which meets in Kalispell and Bigfork.

The intention of the after-school programs, launched in September through the nonprofit Undaunted Family Connections, is to provide a place and time for teens to pause from the school day, reflect and connect with peers in constructive ways through various activities and lessons.

One goal of the collective is to provide teens with a sense of belonging and self-empowerment through social-emotional learning.

“We’re tapping into the mind-body connection,” said Leanna Troesh, Undaunted Family Connections executive director. “They may come in thinking bad thoughts about themselves. The collective will be a place to share and discuss what’s going on with nonjudgmental acceptance.”

Identity will also be a focus.

“They will be thinking about the concept of identifying who they are as a person, as a human being. What drives them? What makes them tick? How do they show up in the world?” Troesh said.

There is no cost to attend and students from any public, private or home school may join.

“There will be thought-provoking activities, discussions and time for self-reflection,” Troesh said.

The Kalispell collective meets Tuesdays. Middle school students get together from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Kalispell Middle School, 205 Northwest Lane, in the cafetorium. High school students meet from 6 to 7 p.m. at Gateway Community Center, entrance A, 1203 U.S. 2 W.

The Bigfork collective meets Thursdays. Middle school students get together from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. High school students meet from 6 to 7 p.m. Both groups will gather in the Bigfork High School library, 600 Commerce St. during their respective times.

Register at undauntedfamilyconnections.org/the-undaunted-collective. Call 406-282-4595 for more information or email hope@undauntedfamily.org.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 406-758-4431 or by email at hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.