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Active Wellness Family
01 December 2008

BISMARCK (UTN) - Here is a family that makes the most of the collegeís wellness programs.

      April Threefingers (27), Andrew Russell (29) and their three children are from Lame Deer, Montana. They are members of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

April Threefingers and Andrew Russell with their three children: Taeden (4), Alayna (3), and Alissya (2). UTN Photo Dennis J. Neumann

      This is their first year at United Tribes Technical College. They live on the campus in a family housing unit. April studies in the Early Childhood Education curriculum and plans to continue on for a bachelorís degree in special education. Andrew is a student in the Elementary Education Program and plays hoops on the Thunderbirds basketball team. The children attend the collegeís Childhood Development Centers.

      As a family, they are leading the pack in turning in completed activity cards in the Wellness Incentive Program. Participants are encouraged to take part in as many wellness activities as they can. For participating, they receive a punch on their activity card. The Russell family card is full of holes!;

      So, meet the Russell family in the interview below. We are excited to have them here. They set a good example of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the UTTC campus while pursuing a higher education.

      Describe your experience at UTTC thus far?

      Itís surprising, weíve been to other colleges and there is a lot of help here for us. There are a lot of activities here that we can participate in that are not offered at other colleges. For example, our whole family can participate in certain activities, such as, walking and the weekend activities, which are really fun. Being here at UTTC is a very rewarding experience academically, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. We both are now in great shape; itís been awhile since we felt this good.

      How are your children adjusting to the change of environment?

      They adjusted really well and are enjoying it here. For example, my son says he wants to stay here for a really, really, long time. One time, we were leaving Wal-Mart, we told our son that we were going home; he said he didnít want to go home; he wanted to go to his new home at the college.

      How does participating in wellness activities benefit you and your family?

      It benefits us because it improves our total well-being and it involves our whole family. Our children are learning new skills through the Strengthening Lifestyles wellness program. The program is providing new exposure for our family to do things we might have never done otherwise.


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