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Science classes receive hydroponics unit

Science teacher Mrs. Laura Swessel has wanted a hydroponics unit for her students and STEM clubs and camps for several years, but the price of the units was too expensive. When she heard of Scott Massey, a recent Purdue University graduate and new business owner, she found a way to meet that need while also having him speak about the entrepreneur side of STEM.

Massey and a fellow engineering students co-founded Heliponix their senior year of college in order to produce the patented GroPod, a computerized hydroponic food unit that uses the company’s patented seed pods (think Keurig pods) to grow plants indoors. One of the goals of the GroPod is to help alleviate fresh food deserts around the world, since the units can easily feed a family with only electricity, wifi, and water – and the subscription seed pods.

Mrs. Swessel said she was impressed with the company’s mission, especially from someone recently out of college.

“He thinks of it as a cool technology but also sees the big picture,” she said.

Scott Massey shows a fully grown set of plants in his GroPod to STEM Club students in March.

The Science Department purchased a unit, and Mrs. Swessel will use the GroPod to teach her Earth/Space students and her STEM club students about alternative agriculture practices as well as entrepreneurship and other elements of STEM. The unit’s wifi will enable her to check on the plants when she’s not in the building over the summer or on weekends during the school year. If an alarm goes off that the unit needs water, for example, she could come in and resolve the problem.

The seed pods are $1 each, and her first order contains cilantro, red Russian kale, and three types of lettuce. The plants will be ready for their first harvest around the beginning of the school year, so Mrs. Swessel plans to give the first batch to the cafeteria to serve for lunch. The plants will live about 180 days before they need to be removed because their root systems would begin to clog the system.

In the future, Mrs. Swessel may sell the produce to staff and faculty members in order to fund the cost of the liquid fertilizer, which costs about $12 a year, and future seed pod purchases. She also sees the potential for recreating the seed pods in the school’s 3D printer using biodegradable material.

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Trinkle wins first tennis state title for PHS

The Girls Tennis and Boys Golf teams ended their seasons successfully. See immediately below for the story on Halli Trinkle’s state championship, and scroll down for Boys Golfer Shawn Fitzpatrick’s Academic All-State achievement.

Trinkle wins first tennis state title for PHS

By: Coach Scott Gurgol

Following up a state runner-up season is not easy, but the 2018 version of Girls Tennis did not disappoint. The team met each goal created at the start of the season. The girls won the Crawfordsville Invitational for the first time, earned their third-straight sectional championship, secured their third-straight regional title, and won their second consecutive semi-state championship. At state Girls Tennis lost a close 2-3 match to No. 1 Carmel, the eventual state champion. Girls Tennis finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the state rankings with a 19-3 record. Rising senior Halli Trinkle went on to become the 2018 state singles champion.

Halli played the No. 1 singles position throughout the season and was joined by varsity team members rising juniors Natalie Boesing at No. 2 singles and Maria Popson at No. 3 singles, Heidi Popson ’18 and rising senior Hannah Conder at No. 1 doubles, and Izzy Coe ’18 and Clare Hooper ’18 at No. 2 doubles. The varsity alternates are Kirstie Krininger ’18 and rising sophomore Anna Coe.

Halli, who beat defending state champion Lauren Lemonds in the team’s state quarterfinals appearance 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 to advance to the state singles tournament, was named to the First Team All-State Singles by the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association. Natalie, who finished her season with a 23-1 record , won her match in the state quarterfinals 6-3, 6-3 but did not advance to the singles tournament. She was also named to the First Team All-State Singles. Heidi and Hannah were named to the Second Team All-State Doubles.

The team received several nominations for the annual NTSPY Awards by the News & Tribune that will be held later this month. Coach Gurgol was nominated for Coach of the Year, and the team Team of the Year. Halli and Natalie are two of three nominees for Girls Tennis Player of the Year, and Halli is nominated for Girls Player of the Year. Natalie, who also played Girls Basketball, is nominated for Girls Athlete of the Year, a nomination she shares with Hannah Wolford ’18, who played Girls Basketball and Softball.

Several players and the team also received academic honors. Heidi and Izzy were named the IHSTeCA Academic All-State First Team, and Clare received honorable mention. The team was once again named an Academic All-State Team Winner, an honor received each year since the team award began.

Fitzpatrick one of 15 Boys Golf Academic All-State honorees

By Coach Victor Beeler ’94

The 2018 Boys Golf team had a 55-29 regular season record and placed well in tournaments against tough competition. The team was third in the Fuzzy Zoeller Invitational and second in the New Castle Invitational. At sectional, the team placed third and advanced to regional to compete against some of the toughest competition in the state.

Two recent graduates received postseason honors. Shawn Fitzpatrick ’18 was named to the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association Academic All-State Team, one of only 15 honorees. Will Kaiser ’18 received honorable mention. The IHSGCA qualifications are among the toughest in high school sports, making his Academic All-State honors as difficult to obtain as All-State Team honors. To apply, players must have a 3.5 GPA and minimum of 1000 on SAT or equivalent. As a 2018 salutatorian and the No. 1 Boys Golf varsity player, Shawn’s GPA was 4.67 weighted. He scored a 34 of 36 on the ACT and ranked No. 2 in his class.

“Shawn and Will are both outstanding young men and very deserving of this award,” Coach Beeler said.

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Alumnus artist to create sculpture in China

Guy Tedesco ’80 has more ideas for blessing the world with beautiful sculptures than he has the funding to create them. But he continues to promote his work, his proposals, and his art in hopes he will be able to bring his ideas to life. He realizes he’ll likely always be a “starving artist,” he said, but he can’t help but create.

His next project will take him to south China to Chengdu, where he will create a life-size pegasus with a 20-foot wingspan as part of the city’s efforts to integrate art into its park system. Tedesco is still negotiating the details but expects to travel to China in a few weeks to create the original for the art piece that will become a bronze statue crafted by Chinese artisans.

Typically, such a project would take about three years, with Tedesco following the creation of the original with a mold, a wax casting, a second mold, and then the final metal casting. But Chengdu wants the project completed sooner and will have its artists do much of the creation under Tedesco’s occasional supervision with the target unveiling in November.

“This project is on China time,” he joked.

Tedesco is one of about 40 artists from around the world who were invited to submit projects as part of Chengdu’s sister cities program, which connects the city to Louisville. He said he chose the Pegasus because it is an international symbol of rebirth and advancing to the future, representing the ancient Chinese city’s recent modernization, and Louisville’s heritage.

The sculpture will be cast of stainless steel in order to give it a white look and to provide structural integrity as the horse’s small ankles support the long wings in all manner of weather, including wind. He will also use bronze accents on the mane and tail and resin in the feathers to create a rippling color effect. The base will contain relief images representing Chengdu’s and Louisville’s histories, including likely images of buffalo, American Indians, horseracing, and the medical field, Tedesco said.

As exciting as it sounds to create a project in China, like many of his projects, the payment he is negotiating will likely barely cover his costs. But he hopes that media coverage of his work will help him get future work and funding for his project ideas. He also is planning to start a speaker series as another way to pay his bills while he seeks funding and works on other projects.

“This is fitting in with my overall plan at the moment,” Tedesco said.

One upcoming project is a statue of the late Cardinal Joseph Ritter, who was born in New Albany, became a bishop of Indianapolis and St. Louis, and was named Indiana’s only cardinal. The project will represent Cardinal Ritter’s efforts to desegregate Catholic schools – decades before public schools – and unify people of different races and faiths.

That project will depict Cardinal Ritter with three children, one with the cardinal pushing over a glass wall, and the other two children burying the glass blocks engraved on one side with negative words to allow the positive words on the other side to face up. Tedesco said he hopes to involve Providence students on the project in some way. He often invites others to contribute to his projects, from a Louisville Presbyterian church whose members created small glass crosses that joined together to form one large cross to handprints that became part of the Stations of the Cross at Norton Audobon Hospital.

Fundraising for the project hasn’t started, but Tedesco said he is so confident that it will be financially supported that he plans to start work soon “on the faith that it’s going to happen.”

Tedesco said it’s a project that needs to happen for several reasons, the most important being the need to teach the world about Cardinal Ritter’s contributions, which also include his efforts with Vatican Council II. He hopes that project will have four reproductions in cities representative of Cardinal Ritter’s service, including at the Cardinal Ritter Birthplace museum in New Albany, Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis, in St. Louis, where he served as cardinal, and at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the founding of which he supported.

Tedesco also hopes to do another project for the Catholic church, one he has dreamed of since he was a child. This project would allow people to pray the Rosary while also encountering the humanness of Mary, the Mother of God. He would depict Mary at various ages for each of the four sets of mysteries – for the Joyful Mysteries, a young, joyful Mary; the Luminous Mysteries, a proud middle-aged mother; the Sorrowful Mysteries, “an intensely sad woman;” and for the Glorious Mysteries, “a beautiful old woman sitting quietly with wisdom in her eyes.”

The images of Mary, who despite living a simple life became one of the most well-known and thus “the most powerful woman in history,” would allow people to empathize, be inspired, and meditate, he said.

“This celebrates the entire life of this woman,” Tedesco said. “I want people to see how just living your life according to who you are is what makes you powerful.”

Tedesco hopes the images will one day be placed at the new St. Pope John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. St. John Paul II had a fierce devotion to Mary, especially after the failed attempt on his life, so Tedesco sees it as the perfect home for the sculptures. He hopes another set will go to the Vatican.

For now, the project – and several others – are simply ideas. Tedesco said he will keep talking to people who are likely to be able to initiate fundraising efforts. He knows these projects will be important pieces and touch many people for years and years to come, so he will keep creating, working, marketing, and speaking.

He looks to the inspiration of St. Francis of Assisi, who as a young man made poor choices and then became the world’s most well-known saint.

“He was a human person who decided to live an extraordinary life,” Tedesco said. “We can make those choices.”

Tedesco hopes he can convey the lessons he learned from studying the saint’s life in some way in all his artwork, especially his spiritual pieces.

“Those are teaching moments of artwork, allowing these figures to be human” so others can empathize and be inspired, he said.

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Three seniors are top of the class

Congratulations to our top three scholars: Heidi Popson ’18, valedictorian; Shawn Fitzpatrick ’18, salutatorian; and Emma Kerr ’18, salutatorian. These three students have the highest academic rank in the senior class and addressed the graduates and those in attendance at the commencement this past Sunday. Click here to read more about these students.

Heidi has been very active in her four years at Providence. For the House of Integrity, she was a freshman and sophomore delegate, and the junior and senior executive delegate. She also was a Student Ambassador, a Eucharistic Minister, and a member of the National Honors Society. She was involved in the Spanish Club all four years, the Pro-Life Club for three years, the Pinterest Club and Green Dot for two years, and S.A.D.D. for one year. She also was active in activities outside of school. She attended Hoosier Girls State last summer and One Bread One Cup Liturgical Camp for three summers.

She plays No. 1 doubles on the Girls Tennis team, which won semi-state 4-1 last Saturday and was a member of the team all four years, helping her team claim three sectional and regional titles in a row. Her freshman year, she was named the Girls Tennis MVP and was the 2015 Individual Tennis Sectional champ. She also played Girls Soccer for two years and Girls Basketball for one year, and was the Boys Tennis manager for two seasons. She recently was named to the Courier Journal All-Area Southern Indiana Girls Tennis Team.

Heidi received the Fr. Tom Stumph Excellence in Leadership award from the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries for her dedication to service. Over the last four years, she accumulated nearly 150 service hours serving primarily as a youth leader for Holy Family Youth Ministry and a regular volunteer for the soup kitchen at St. Paul Episcopal in New Albany. She also helped with the PHS STEM Camp and the Youth Tennis Camp.

She said the extra-curricular activity that is most meaningful to her is on the Holy Family Youth Ministry Team because “it gives me the opportunity to share the passion I have for my faith with the young Church and encourage them to get involved in the parish. I also love working with other people so it is great to get to do this alongside my classmates and friends.”

During her time at Providence, she also received the Father Mike Hildebrand Scholarship and the Saint Michael’s College Book Award. At the Senior Awards Ceremony, she received the Four Years Honor Roll Award, Distinguished Scholars Award, and the Kathleen Polansky Theology Award.
Heidi plans to attend Indiana University Bloomington and major in nursing.

Emma Kerr, salutatorian
Emma has been very involved in extracurricular activities at Providence, including four years in S.A.D.D., two years playing Girls Soccer, three years as a Student Ambassador, and one year in National Honors Society. She has served in a variety of ways in the community, including helping with Blessings in a Backpack, as a leader on a Confirmation retreat and the Eighth Grade Holy Family Retreat, and a volunteer at the New Albany Soup Kitchen. She was named an AP Scholar with Honors for her success on AP tests her junior year; has received Spanish, Math, Science, and English department awards; and at the Senior Awards Ceremony, she received a Four Years Honor Roll Award and Distinguished Scholars Award.

She said her proudest academic accomplishment prior to senior year was earning a 5 on the AP Government Exam. The class was one of her favorites and fueled her “passion for the topic.” She hopes to extend her interest in government into bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations from IU Bloomington – plus a minor in Arabic – with the goal of having a career in the CIA as a counter-terrorism analyst. Her goal is to apply for an internship at the CIA as a freshman and study abroad in Morocco her junior year.

Emma already has been hard at work prepping for her college studies and has been trying to teach herself Arabic and has applied to scholarships to be able to study abroad to learn the language better. She said she wants to work for the CIA in order “to promote justice (and) safety and implement human rights in foreign countries that need it.”

Shawn Fitzpatrick, salutatorian

Shawn has been a leader at Providence and in outside activities, having been the House of Loyalty Senior Executive Delegate and the senior patrol leader of Boy Scout Troop 4036. He also earned the Boys Scout rank of Eagle Scout. At Providence, he was a member of the Spanish Club all four years, a Student Ambassador for two years, and a Eucharistic minister and lector for two years. He is a four-year member of the Boys Golf team, which competes in sectional on June 4 at 8:00 a.m. He also played Freshman Boys Basketball and was the manager for Girls Golf two years and Boys Basketball three years, earning nine varsity letters and the Athletic Blanket award.

Outside of school, he was involved in the Knights of the Holy Temple for two years and was a lector at Holy Family for four years. His service activities include going on a service mission trip to Nicaragua, completing his Eagle Scout project, and serving as a Confirmation retreat leader, and Eighth Grade Retreat leader. He also is well traveled and has been on family trips to Italy, France, Spain, Aruba, Canada, and Jamaica plus 20 different states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

He was named an AP Scholar with Honor last year for his success on multiple AP exams. He also received multiple Math Department awards over his for years as well as receiving the University of Louisville Book Award earlier this year. At the Senior Awards Ceremony, he received the Four Years Honor Roll Award, a Distinguished Scholars Award, the Don Zipp Blue Pride Award, and the Sister Joseph Louise Mathematics Award.

Shawn said his greatest personal achievement was earning his Eagle Scout rank, having set the goal in sixth grade and earning it as a sophomore. His most influential school activity has been his time on the golf team because it taught him “honesty, integrity, and patience. Golf has also helped me build friendships, not only with my teammates, but also with other players, my coaches, and other adults from the golf course.”

Shawn has received a direct admittance to the Kelley School of Business at IU Bloomington, where he plans to major in accounting.

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Girls Tennis returns to state tournament

Three sports teams ended their season in postseason play last week, while Girls Tennis moves on to the state quarterfinals on Friday. Boys Golf starts sectional on Monday.

The Girls Track & Field team finished 13th of 52 at regional, with all eight competitors scoring for the team in various events. Boys Track & Field placed fourth at sectional and qualified 10 athletes in five events to advance to regional, where the team placed 26th of 52. Senior Spencer Purcell placed fourth in discus at regional, missing qualifying for state by one spot. The Baseball and Softball teams each lost in the opening round of sectional.

Boys Track & Field finished fourth in the Floyd Central Sectional, with Spencer leading the way with a second place finish in discus and qualifying for regional. Members of the team placed third in four events to advance the following athletes to regional: sophomore Brandon Barron in the 200 meter dash; junior Chris Heselschwerdt in the 100 meter dash; the 400 meter relay team of Chris, Brandon, junior Ethan Fulkerson and freshman Isaac Ohlmann, and the 3200 meter relay team of juniors Tyler Upton and Thomas Gaines and sophomores Alex Perkinson and Alex Lancaster. Sophomore Austin Grantz placed 10th in discus but was able to qualify for regional.

Chris placed fourth in the 200, Alex Perkinson placed eighth in the 400 meter dash, and Thomas placed eighth in the 1600 meter run and sixth in the 3200 meter run, but none advanced to regional. Also scoring at sectional but not advancing were junior Bryce Drury, who was fourth in the long jump, sixth in the 110 meter hurdles, and fifth in the 300 meter hurdles; junior Charlie O’Bryant, who was eighth in the 300 meter hurdles; senior Zach Kaiser, who was seventh in the 400 meter run; and the 1600 meter relay team of Brandon, Alex Perkinson, Zach, and Tyler. Several athletes also set personal bests, including all three relay teams, Brandon in the 200, Charlie in the 300 hurdles, Bryce in the 300 hurdles and the long jump), Austin in the discus, and junior Bradon Dykes in the 1600, and sophomore Taylor Hensley in the long jump.

At regional, the team finished 26th with the boys placing at or higher than their incoming seeds in six of the eight events in which they competed. The 1600 meter relay team also ran its season’s best time.

Girls Track & Field sectional results were in the previous eVision, and at regional, the team finished 13th. Sophomore Ceci Rush (high jump) and senior Skylar Richey (long jump) each placed fourth. Freshman Julia Christie placed fifth in the 200 and eighth in the 100. Sophomore Sydney Barron placed seventh and ran a season’s best time in the 300 hurdles, as did the 3200 relay team of sophomores Brigid Welch, Kaylee Kaiser, Stephanie Koopman, and Avery Stumler. Several girls set personal records, including Kaylee in the 1600, and the 1600 relay team of Skylar, Avery, Ceci and Julia.

Seniors Hannah Hanlon, Emma Flispart, and Brinley Prather, and Bryce Drury were all named 2018 Track Academic All-State Honorable Mention. The Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches has the most stringent Academic All State standards, requiring nominees to carry a minimum 3.5 GPA and scores of 1200 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT.

Softball improves over last season
The Softball team lost game one of sectional to Crawford County 8-6 despite two home runs by senior Hannah Wolford. Hannah led the team in all statistics, including pitching two perfect games, and was named to the Courier Journal Southern Indiana All-Area Team along with junior Sidney Shireman. The team finished the season with an 11-16, record, earning six more wins than in the previous season. The team graduates three seniors – Hannah, Brianna Hall, and Gabby Roberts.

Coach Kenny Janes said the team expects to return six of its starters, and he is “looking for a big year next year” from Sidney, freshman Kacye Quinn, and sophomore Claire Culwell. “We are still rebuilding the program and hope to build on all the hard work the kids have put in this season.”

Baseball team falls in 3A sectional
The Baseball team lost 7-3 to No. 3 Silver Creek in round one of sectional, finishing the season with a 20-4 record. The team graduates six seniors, including Conner Finnegan; Kellen McHugh; Nathan Proctor; Preston Taylor, who is considering playing baseball at Vincennes University; Reece Davis, who will play baseball for Bellarmine University, and Timmy Borden, who will enter the Major League Baseball draft (June 4-6) and has previously committed to play for the University of Louisville. 

Girls Tennis headed to IHSAA State Quarterfinals
The Girls Tennis team won sectional by defeating New Washington 5-0 and Jeffersonville 5-0. At regional, the team defeated New Albany 5-0 and Floyd Central 4-1 to win its third straight regional title.  Junior Halli Trinkle and sophomore Natalie Boesing picked up wins at singles, and the doubles teams of senior Heidi Popson and junior Hannah Conder and seniors Izzy Coe and Clare Hooper also won.

At semi-state, the team defeated No. 13 Castle 4-1, with the same positions winning. The team now has a 19-1 record and will face No. 1 Carmel in the state quarterfinals on Friday at 3 p.m. at Center Grove High School. The semifinals are Saturday at 10 a.m. at North Central High School, with the finals at 2 p.m. Halli will advance to the state singles tournament and Heidi and Hannah will advance to the doubles tournament as well since they are undefeated in the postseason at the singles and doubles positions, respectively.

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Alumnus’ love for Crusade comes full circle

For Sgt. Michael Osborne ’05, his admiration for firefighters and his involvement with the WHAS Crusade for Children have been intertwined his whole life. His godfather, Dale Popp ’69, a retired Jeffersonville fire captain, was active on the department when Osborne was growing up, When Osborne was in third grade, Popp invited him to ride on the firetruck and help collect for the Crusade. At the time, Osborne was more thrilled with the prospect of riding on the firetruck than helping others, but collecting for the Crusade became an annual routine. Now, he has made both loves part of his career as a Jeffersonville firefighter.

It wasn’t until Osborne was an emergency medical technician with Yellow Ambulance after high school that the benefit of all those years collecting hit home. A few of his runs would involve transporting young cancer patients to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville. There he saw the Crusade logo posted in play areas and other places in the medical facility.

“That really made me realize that as a kid (what I collected), this was here that money went to,” he said. “I saw that and I thought, ‘Okay, I need to step up and be more involved.”

In 2008, Osborne followed in his godfather’s footsteps and joined the Jeffersonville Fire Department and proudly participated in its Crusade collection activities. Two years later, he was offered the chance to oversee the department’s Crusade activities, and he gladly took on the responsibility. That year, the department collected its highest amount ever, nearly $57,000.

Osborne was stunned at the total and quickly realized he had just set a lofty goal to hit every year. The department didn’t pass that total in the next seven years, but there’s always hope that it will, he said.

“It’s been tough to keep the bar at that standard,” he said. “We haven’t done it since then, but that’s our goal to beat that one day. We will. It’s just going to take time and effort.”

Osborne has added several fundraisers to help boost the department’s contributions. In 2011, he started an annual fishing tournament to benefit the Crusade. He works with Bass Pro Shop and A20 Boating Supplies and Pro Shop to run the event and for donations for raffle prizes. Competitors fish on the Ohio River from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and return to a spread cooked by J & L Catering and paid for by the Jeffersonville Fire Fighters Local 558.

About 20 to 30 boats participate, many of them repeat competitors who enjoy competitive fishing and the chance to donate to the Crusade. This year’s tournament had 23 boats and brought in one of its highest totals at $4,750, thanks to numerous sponsors and the winners donating back their first place prize – a guaranteed $1,000 pot.

Several other events will happen this weekend during the annual Crusade Weekend. Several years ago, the Heartland Payment Systems vs. JFD basketball game was added. The game is a fun culmination of all the fundraising activities that take place at the company for the Crusade throughout the year. It’s mainly a “battle for bragging rights,” and department’s success often depends on who’s on duty. It’s not unusual for some of the players to be called out on runs during the game, and sometimes bystanders get pulled in as subs, Osborne said.

On Friday, First Harrison Bank located at 2744 Allison Lane in Jeffersonville, will host a fundraising cookout from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. while the firefighters collect donations at a nearby roadblock. Kevin Burke ’78, business development officer and vice president for the bank branch, is a big help in that fundraising effort, which usually brings in between $4,000 and $5,000 between the cookout and the roadblock, Osborne said.

Osborne has learned that organizing the department’s Crusade collection efforts is more than a one-person job, and he lets others handle organizing the individual events like the charity basketball game and the cookout. He has gotten busier over the last eight years by taking up a part-time job, but the department also is busy and fire runs sometimes interfere with its plans to hold roadblocks in the last two weekends of May. That’s why he’s appreciative of help from local groups and teams like the Providence Football team, which has helped out on Crusade weekends the last few years.

File Photo

Fellow Jeffersonville firefighter Chris McCain ’86 and Coach Larry Denison ’86 are friends, and McCain has sons on the team. So McCain approached Osborne with an offer for the team’s help as a way for the team to conduct a charity event and earn the players service hours. The team has been a big help, especially with some of the city’s larger neighborhoods, Osborne said. With the team’s assistance, a 500-home subdivision can be canvassed in about an hour. He looks forward to their helping again this weekend.

“I really enjoy having the help of the Providence Football team,” Osborne said, noting that he welcomes any team or students who want to help on Saturday. “It doesn’t have to be just the football team, though. “I’ll take as much help as I can get.”

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Seniors heading for variety of destinations

Providence is known for preparing its students for college. Each year, more than 96 percent of our seniors graduate with plans to continue their education in college. We are proud to have these students continue learning on college campuses, including students like Sierra Brooks, who will enter IUS as a sophomore and has applied to the Nursing School, a feat also accomplished last year by her sister, Cheyenne ’17. We also have a number of students entering colleges that are farther afield, from Brady Gentry going to Los Angeles for the New York Film Academy to Emily Geldermann on the other coast at Emerson College in Boston.

Like her older sister, Sierra Brooks has combined her first year of college with her last year of high school. By taking AP, ACP and dual-credit courses offered here and several online classes through Indiana University Southeast, Sierra will graduate high school with an Honors Diploma and 61 college credits, enough to make her a college junior. Sierra hopes to do as Cheyenne did and enter IUS as a student accepted into the nursing program, a rare occurrence for first-year students.

Update: Sierra received her letter of acceptance as a first-year student into the IUS Nursing School on May 17.

Sierra took the IUS Nursing School prerequisites online last summer and over the past two semesters, even while playing varsity Girls Soccer and varsity Girls Basketball. She said it was stressful to balance college, high school, and sports, but she felt prepared because of the classes she has taken here.

“AP Biology and AP World History helped me learn to take good notes, how to study, and how to manage my time,” she said.

Time management was particularly crucial to success in her online college classes, Sierra said. She would receive a week’s worth of assignments at once but knew she couldn’t wait until the end of the week to complete them all.

“People think you can binge do them on Saturday” before the Sunday due date, she said. “But you can’t. I learned here to manage my time, so it wasn’t very hard” to keep up with her assignments.

While taking college classes during high school did mean she had to forego some social activities with friends on the weekends, especially if she had a test for which to study, she made sure to attend football games and other senior activities, she said.

She also has learned from her sister that her first college semester won’t be as difficult her senior year has been.

“She (Cheyenne) said it hasn’t been that hard because Providence prepared her very well,” Sierra said, noting that her sister completed her first year of nursing school as a first-year full-time college student with a 4.0.

Sierra plans to pursue a career in pediatric nursing because it will combine her love of working with children with her “heart for helping people,” she said. She encourages anyone who has a dream to work hard to achieve it, no matter if others may think the dream is impossible.

“If anybody else has a dream, they should look into it and see what it would require,” she said. “And just go for it. Like John Maxwell says, ‘Dream don’t work unless you do.’”

Choosing the right program is an important decision, and we are pleased to share some of the news:

Eli Lucas will attend the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and major in theatre. He chose to audition (and was accepted) after visiting the school and being impressed by the atmosphere, facilities, teaching staff, and training.

Brady Gentry will attend the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, Calif., to pursue a bachelor of fine arts in acting for film. He chose the school because its location allows him to move away and be in the center of “Media Capital of the World” as well as help him to develop and craft the skill of acting.

Cody Gibbs chose Holy Cross College over nearby University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., because of its small size and low student-to-teacher ratio as well as its family-based atmosphere. He will major in biology.

Mirashaye Basa will attend American University in Washington, D.C., and plans to major in political science and possibly social justice. She hopes to one day secure one of the internships offered through the college with Congress and other federal departments.

Emma Delaney will be a trainee at Louisville Ballet, which includes dance instruction with the possibility of performances in various productions. She is delaying college for at least a year to take part in the full-time program. She chose this program because it will allow her to strengthen her technique and artistry in ballet while allowing her to gain experience with a professional dance company. First, she will spend five weeks this summer dancing with the Charlotte (N.C.) Ballet.

Shea Caylor will attend the University of Tampa because of its excellent communications program and the “many amazing internships available to me with ESPN and the Tampa Bay Lightning” National Hockey League team, she said. She turned down offers to play golf at other colleges because of her desire to double major in sport management and communications. She will be a media manager for its hockey team and hopes to have a future career in the NHL as a broadcaster.

Ethan Barber has earned his private pilot’s license and can now fly solo and take passengers, thanks to his two years’ participation in the Prosser aviation program. As for college, he will attend Vincennes University for its flight program in Indianapolis. He plans to become an airline pilot, which requires 1,050 flight hours. He will earn about 800 hours in the two-year program at Vincennes and then likely transfer to Purdue University to earn his bachelor’s degree. He said he wants to be an airline pilot because he loves flying but also finds appealing the salary, schedule (about 40 hours of flight time a month), and opportunity to travel.

Emily Geldermann plans to attend Emerson College in Boston because of its focus on preparing students for careers in English and creative arts. She was accepted into its selective Performing Arts Program and plans to major in costume design. She said she also liked the campus for its location “in the heart of Boston’s theatre district, allowing many opportunities to be available to students.” The college’s professors teach at the school and work in the surrounding theatres and are known for inviting their students to work on the shows with them.

Phillip Stoner plans to attend Eastern Kentucky University for its flight program. He said he chose it because it is the closest school in the area that had a flight program. “I visited the airport and fell in love with what I saw within the facility and the atmosphere (people wise).” His future plans are to fly for a regional airline and after a few years fly for a major airline.

Brogan Welch will attend the U.S. Naval Academy and major in cyber warfare. I’ve always wanted to attend the Naval Academy because of my personal drive to give back to the country that’s given me so much,” he said.

Brinley Prather plans to attend Belmont University in Tennessee for its music business program. “I think Belmont is a great choice for that because it is located in Nashville, also known as Music City, and is full of opportunities in music business,” she said.

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Seniors go beyond the minimum for service

Our students are required to accumulate 60 hours in service to organizations outside of school over their four years here. For some students, once they begin volunteering, they soon find that they enjoy helping others and go beyond the minimum requirement. Many of these students are involved in their parish youth ministry and were recognized by the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries last week, including the following:

  • Senior Katie Baker, who was previously featured in the eVision for her having received the President’s Volunteer Service Award as a sophomore and for initiating a mission trip to Guatemala  with senior Natalie Gallegos, received the C.J. Smith Service Above Self award.
  • Senior Ethan Furnish, who was previously featured for his service work, received the Dean Kraemer Spirit of Hope award.
  • Senior Heidi Popson, who is featured below, received the Fr. Tom Stumph Excellence in Leadership award.

For a full list of students recognized for their Deanery youth ministry participation, click here. Read below for a description of six seniors and their service work.

Seniors Emma Flispart, Ryan Strahm, and Heidi Popson have nearly 600 hours combined serving in various church ministries.

Heidi Popson accumulated nearly 150 service hours serving primarily as a youth leader for Holy Family Youth Ministry and a regular volunteer for the soup kitchen at St. Paul Episcopal in New Albany. She plans to attend Indiana University-Bloomington and major in nursing.

Question: Why did you get involved in those service areas?
Answer: I got involved in youth ministry in order to stay active at my grade school after eighth grade. I got involved at the soup kitchen mostly after our Sophomore Retreat when we were able to sit down and talk to people eating at the soup kitchen. I was able to see just how impactful these meals were. I felt that I was capable of ensuring that this would remain available to those who need it.

Q. What do you like about volunteering for those specific ministries?
A. I enjoy volunteering at Holy Family in order to represent the youth’s voice when planning activities and working to draw as many students to participate in these activities as possible. I enjoy working at the soup kitchen because it allows me to connect with people whom I do not usually encounter in my daily life and to show them equal dignity and respect.

Q. What do you like about service in general?
A. In general, I like that service allows me to use my talents and abilities to build and maintain my local community. I also like that it allows me to make connections with people who are often forgotten.

Q. Who was your primary role model in doing service?
A. My primary role model in doing service for others was Abbi Hamm ’16. I always looked up to her while she was at Providence.

Claire Harper, middle, poses with two other students while on a mission trip in Appalachia.

Claire Harper has nearly 200 service hours, primarily by participating in various mission trips offered by the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries, including Faith in Action and Wolfe Pack mission trips. The Faith in Action mission trip is a local mission trip helping members in the local community with various activities and repairs. The Wolfe Pack mission trip serves the Appalachian people in the town of Campton, Ky., with house repairs or companionship. She also was a member of YMAT (Youth Ministry Action Team) and helped plan and manage events put on by the New Albany Deanery. Claire will attend Bellarmine University and study biology on a pre-med track.

Question: Why did you get involved in those service areas?
Answer: I first began to get involved in these service areas because my older sister, Natalie Harper ’15, had also been involved in these service areas. I watched and saw the expertise that she acquired through mission trips and YMAT, and I decided that I, too, wanted to have the same kind of experiences that she had. The first mission trip that I went on was Faith in Action. I loved this trip so much, so I just continued to go on them.

Q. What do you like about volunteering for those specific ministries?
A. I really enjoy attending mission trips because I get to help and interact with people I do not necessarily know, but get to know through this service. With the Wolfe Pack mission trip, we are only in Campton for less than a week. However, by the end of the week, it is like we, too, are a part of their small community. Simply experiencing the compassion expressed from the people in this community is enough to keep coming back time after time. I enjoy working with YMAT because I am able to be a part of the background work that goes into planning and managing the same Deanery events that I enjoyed attending when I was a kid.

Q. What do you like about service in general?
A. I enjoy service in general simply because of the human connection formed through it. I usually don’t know the people connected with the service I do, but no matter who they are or what they do, the underlying connection that is formed over the course of the service surprises me every time. Just to be able to get to know a complete stranger in such an intimate way makes service worth it every single time.

Q. Do you feel you represent Providence in these ministries?
A. I do feel like I represent Providence in my areas of service especially with service located in this region. As I serve my community, I honor Providence and help boost our reputation as a compassionate and gracious community.

Emma Flispart has nearly 200 service hours, primarily from helping with the St. Anthony track team and St. Anthony Youth Ministry planning team. She plans to attend Indiana University Southeast and study nursing.

Question: Why did you get involved in this ministry?
Answer: Our youth minister sent out an email asking if I could help with the team for service hours. I love track, so that’s why I help. My brother is also on the team, so I take him to practice most of the time anyway. I help coach third through eighth grade shot put and discus, and whatever else they need. I do those events for the Providence Track team, so it helps me help them.

Q. What do you like about volunteering for those ministries?
A. I like that they (track athletes) generally want to do it and want to be taught. I’m always proud of them because they do work hard in practice. And I like planning and then working the events for our youth ministry.

Q. Do you feel you represent Providence in these ministries?
A. I do. Several of the girls have said they want to be on the team here. That makes me feel good.

Q. Who was your primary role model in doing service?
A. My parents do a lot at St. Anthony. I don’t do it (volunteer) for the service hours. I like to help.

Ryan Strahm has nearly 200 hours primarily through volunteering at Northside Christian Church, where his family attends in addition to St. John Paul II. He plans to attend IUB and major in business economics and public policy.

Question: Why did you get involved in this ministry?
Answer: I’ve been helping out on Sundays every other week since fifth grade in the early childhood area. Now I do lights and sounds for the children’s shows every other week at 11:30 a.m. At first, I was helping my parents in their classroom. Then they started the childcare, and I started helping there. When I got old enough, I was able to volunteer for what I really wanted to do, which is the tech part, and I’ve been doing that ever since.

Q. What do you like about volunteering for those specific ministries?
A. Since I’ve done it so long, I’ve seen kids actually growing up. Now some of them are the same age I was when I first started helping.

Q. What do you like about service in general?
A. It’s a way to get to know people in the community. The same people have been in charge of the program the whole time I’ve been involved, so getting to know them and them know me, has been good. I asked them to write my college recommendation letters. And getting to know people I would’ve never met otherwise is good.

Q. Who was your primary role model in doing service?
A. My parents and my family. My parents have helped at Northside since I was a kid, and my siblings all helped out too. I saw them fulfill their service hours doing something they liked to do.

Jessica Lancaster has nearly 150 hours primarily through coaching middle school cheerleading teams at Holy Family School. She plans to attend IUB. She is undecided about her major but is considering business.

Question: Why did you get involved in coaching cheerleading?
Answer: I’ve been a part of the sport since third grade, and I’ve grown to have a strong passion for it. I love coaching and helping out my Deanery school. I would also love to coach a high school team one day.

Q: What do you like about service in general?
A: Service is very satisfying. Knowing that you are doing something you love for the better of others is very motivating.

Q: Who were your primary role models in doing service for others?
A: My role models were my middle school cheerleading coaches. I loved cheerleading at Holy Family when I was young, and I wanted to help continue the tradition.

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Track, Softball teams gaining momentum

Several of our spring sports teams are heading into the postseason, with Girls Track doing well in sectional last night. The Boys Track team is preparing to compete in sectional tomorrow, Girls Tennis starts sectional at Jeffersonville vs. New Washington at 5:00 this evening, and Softball starts sectional play on Monday.

Track team starts postseason

The Track & Field team celebrates the girls’ first place win and the boys’ third place win at the recent Faulkner Relays.

The Boys & Girls Track team has had a successful regular season despite a young team. Both teams have an 9-2 regular season record, and the girls won the Faulkner Relays, where the boys came in third, both teams beat New Albany, the girls lost to Jeffersonville by only five points and only because they were shorthanded that meet. The girls’ team was well prepared heading into last night’s sectional, with the 800 relay team of freshmen Reese Bottorff and Julia Christie and seniors Hannah Hanlon and Skylar Richey having set a new school record.

At sectional last night, the girls’ team finished a strong third place in the Corydon Sectional losing only to 5A schools New Albany and Floyd Central. The top three event finishers qualified for next week’s Evansville Central Regional. Qualifying for regional with second place: 3200 Relay (sophomores Brigid Welch, Kaylee Kaiser, Stephanie Koopman and Avery Stumler), Skylar (long jump), and sophomore Ceci Rush (high jump). Qualifying at third place were Julia (200), sophomore Sydney Barron (300 hurdles), and the 1600 Relay (Ceci,  Skylar, Avery, and Julia).

Scoring but not advancing were: Hannah  (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Skylar (100 meter dash), Julia (100 meter dash), Reese (200 meter dash), Kaylee (1600 meter run), Brigid (400 meter dash), Avery (800 meter run), senior Brinley Prather (discus and long jump), senior Emma Flispart (discus), and junior Haylee Hall (shot put).

In 13 events, the team had 11 personal records: Hannah and Sydney in both hurdles events,  Julia and Reese in the 200, Stephanie in the 800, Ceci in the high jump, Brinley in the discus and long jump, and Skylar in the long jump.

Coach Jeanne Luther said she is pleased with how the track team has grown as more student athletes have seen that track is great conditioning for all other sports. This year the girls numbered 25, and the boys had 40 on their team. More importantly she is pleased with how the young team has developed this season, with more personal records set each meet than Coach Luther can ever recall.

The boys will compete in sectional at Floyd Central tomorrow, and Coach Luther expects several runners and athletes to score in the top three, including senior Spencer Purcell, who was the 2017 sectional discus champion. She expects good results from junior Thomas Gaines in 3200 and 1600 meter runs, the three relay teams, and junior Bryce Drury in both hurdle events. And several others should finish in scoring positions, including sophomore Brandon Barron and junior Chris Heselschwerdt in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, senior Zach Kaiser in the 400 meter dash, junior Tyler Upton in the 800 meter run, and junior Austin Grantz in the shot put.

Coach Luther expects the team to only get better in the coming years, especially with only four senior girls graduating and the bulk of both teams freshmen and sophomores. And she also sees good talent coming from the Deanery schools. Some of them are in our junior high. At the Deanery championship meet, eighth grader Ella Tichey placed second in the 55 meter hurdles and high jump, fourth in the 200 meter run, and eighth in the 100 meter dash for St. John Paul II; eighth grader Garrett Huber placed third in the 400 meter, 800 meter and 1600 meter runs for St. Mary of the Knobs; and eighth grader Sydney LaMaster placed ninth in the 400 meter run for St. John Paul II.

“The future looks good,” Coach Luther said. “We’re very young, but the talent is there. It’s showing.”
Another testament to the success of the track team in recent years is the number of athletes who go on to compete in track and field in college.

Luke Schroering ’17 runs distance at Marian University; Tyler Ettel ’17 broke a school record in hurdles for IUPUI earlier this semester but plans to transfer to the University of Louisville, joining Micah Oberhausen ’17, who transferred to U of L from Marshall University in January and is a redshirt decathlete on the men’s track team; Alex Creamer ’16 runs distance at Franklin College; Cameron Mitchell ’13 does field events at Spalding University, and Reid Masterson ’17 runs distance at Bellarmine University. Of the current athletes, Spencer Purcell has committed to do field events for the men’s track and field team at the University of the Cumberlands. Several female graduates also went on to compete in college but most were forced to quit due to injury.

“With a school our size, it speaks well of what our coaches are doing,” Coach Luther said. “We all ran track in college in whatever event we’re coaching, so we have a pretty good handle on what it takes to get the kids ready for the next level.”

Softball heading into sectional
As the Softball team prepares for sectional on Monday, the team expects to be competitive under first-year Coach Kenny Janes. The team is 10-13 (as of May 16) and has already won more games than the previous two seasons combined. A significant win was the 13-inning victory over 3A North Harrison in which senior pitcher Hannah Wolford faced 49 batters, pitching 173 pitches for only one walk and 16 strikeouts. She also forced 11 ground outs and 12 fly outs.

The team’s three seniors are experienced, and Hannah’s pitching is an important factor, but the whole team contributes, Coach Janes said. A number of the players are new to the game, but they’ve learned the fundamentals quickly and are showing promise.

“We’re turning girls from other sports into softball players, and they’re all doing quite well so far,” he said. “They have really good defense and are playing the game. They picked it up pretty quick.”

Winning sectional will take a strong team effort, but the team is playing well and other teams should not count the Lady Pioneers as an easy win, Coach Janes said. The team faces Crawford County on Monday at 5:00 p.m. at Pekin Eastern in the first round.

Looking to the future, Coach Janes said the junior varsity team shows promise as do members of the Southern Indiana Catholic middle school team. Like the varsity team, the middle school team is a mix of athletes with varying levels of experience. The team competes against many talented teams and are sometimes over matched, but the competition is good preparation for playing in high school.

Coach Janes is coaching the high school and middle school teams, with Christina Weber assisting on the SIC team. The team is looking for a new middle school coach for next year since the season coincides with the high school season so that Coach Janes can focus on the high school program. With the middle school and JV programs developing strongly, Providence Softball will only get better.

“We want to keep building on it,” he said. “We’re making strides right now.”

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Journey back to health leads to alumna’s new venture

Theresa (Paris) Bivens ’86 is beginning to tell her story in hopes that others can learn from her struggles. She spent two years trying to learn the cause of various debilitating  physical symptoms before she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. Now she wants to those who may be experiencing similar symptoms but also those interested in a holistic approach to health and wellness.

She has started a Facebook group entitled Inspired Natural Health, where she shares tidbits on herbal remedies and products and invitations to presentations on Nature’s Sunshine products, an e-commerce company offering quality herbal supplements, vitamins, and essential oils. She also shares bits of her journey back to health after two years of “pure hell,” she said.

Bivens was a healthy, active wife, mother of three, and director of the delivery management office at Waystar when two years ago she suddenly began experiencing extreme bouts of vertigo. She was unable to go up and down stairs and would often walk into walls. Her physician recommended she start physical therapy for the vertigo, which helped some but did not alleviate the vertigo.

Then she began experiencing other strange symptoms that led her from one specialist to another with no conclusive diagnosis and little relief. She began experiencing extreme migraines, which led to cervical spine treatments, then inner ear testing, screening for lupus and multiple sclerosis. Extreme fluctuations in her heart rate led to her wearing a heart monitor. And a food allergy test revealed she was allergic to a number of foods as well as gluten intolerant. Each test was by a different specialist who prescribed a new treatment that failed to fully relieve her symptoms, all while she continued to experience additional symptoms, from brain fog to extreme tiredness.

“It’s like I’m a hot potato for these doctors,” she said of her struggle to find the cause of her symptoms. “I just keep going to one doctor after another, and they just keep pushing me to the next one. It was almost ridiculous because they’re supposed to be the smart people here.”

Bivens said she was desperate for answers and began to wonder if her symptoms were psychosomatic. She sought counseling and was assured her symptoms were truly physical and she was not creating them in her own mind.

But she still had no answers and life was becoming more miserable. She had two children still at Providence at the time and one who played college volleyball, plus a full-time job. She had enough energy to go to work but would have to go to bed as soon as she got home. She considered going on disability as she began to wonder if exhaustion, vertigo, and a varying heart rate were going to be lifelong conditions she had to accept.

“You just get to a point where you think, ‘Okay, I guess this is what my life is going to be like for the rest of it, and I’m just going to just survive,’” she said.

But she feared that quitting her job would lead to a worse situation.

“I just felt like if I gave up my job, whether I do it poorly or not, I thought I was just going to give up (on everything),” Bivens said. “I felt like I could at least get to work, I have a good team and if I could give them direction, I could do that. I couldn’t do all the physical work at home, but I could at least do that.”

Looking for her own answers
With no help from the myriad of doctors she visited, Bivens started doing her own research. She discovered that her symptoms were consistent with Lyme disease. But when she broached the topic with her doctors, she felt shut down.

“Regular doctors, when you talk about Lyme, it’s like saying you have the plague,” Bivens said. “They don’t want to talk about it. Insurance doesn’t pay for anything. You have to have the diagnosis to get the medication. I knew I had it by symptoms, but the tests” aren’t reliable and tend to result in false negatives.

As she read, she learned that the Lyme antibodies can mask themselves to look like healthy cells and can regenerate after attempts to kill them.

“I’ve learned so much,” she said. “That’s one of the things of Lyme disease. They’re (the antibodies) so really smart, and they’re little boogers because it’s so hard to find it and so hard to get rid of it. They are smart, and they hide from things that are trying to find that they’re there, and they hide from antibiotics, or get immune to the antibiotics, so they will just restart again. So you’re just in a state.”

Bivens began going to an integrative physician and took diagnostic tests for Lyme disease, but one came back negative. She eliminated gluten from her diet and began to feel slightly better. Then she underwent an ozone treatment, an alternative therapy not approved by the FDA that oxygenates and recirculates the blood. Insurance wouldn’t cover the $300 cost, and the weekly treatment quickly becomes expensive.

Theresa (Paris) Bivens ’86, second from right, is slowly improving after struggling for two years with Lyme disease. Her children, Lillian ’19, Joe ’17, and Maddie 15, and husband Erik celebrate her renewed energy.

She underwent one treatment and felt somewhat better and then quickly deteriorated. Soon after, she attended a family wedding, and her family was shocked by her condition. Bivens said she had hidden her condition from her family partly out of embarrassment and also because she didn’t know the cause. She would sleep as much as possible leading up to family gatherings and leave before she got too exhausted. But her family knew something was wrong. They held a meeting and decided to donate money to help cover costs for whatever treatments she needed.

With their help, Bivens began to undergo more ozone therapy and slowly began to have more energy. In the meantime, she had been considering having a second test for Lyme but was wavering on the $500 cost. Several weeks later and after she resumed the ozone therapy, she found out that the test had been run without her authorization. When she went to the doctor’s office to protest, she was given the results – positive for Lyme.

“All of a sudden I have a clear diagnosis and confirmation that I have Lyme disease,” she said. “I’m a mess, but finally I know what is wrong with me.”

Finally on the road to recovery
Her journey back to health has been slow, but she can feel and celebrate the small progression – like being able to go to the grocery and sweep the floor again. She has taken antibiotics but said she found the most relief from improving her diet and taking herbal supplements.

“Little by little I went from looking like I was grey and about to keel over to I could move around and I could get through a day and just little by little I crawled back out of the hole,” she said. “I’m not at 100 percent, but I’m so much better than I was. And so much different than two years ago.”

The difference is noticeable to others, she said. Friends have complimented her, and when her mother, Mimi (Marguet) Paris ’58, saw her last weekend, she jumped up and down for joy at her improvement.

As Bivens feels better she is looking for ways to share her story and bring some good out of her pain.

“I remember talking to my mom one time,” Bivens said. “I said, ‘God has a plan for me. He’s putting me through all this pain and agony, and I know I’m going to do something good with it after I feel better.’ And I kept promising myself, ‘When I feel better, I’m going to do something good.’ So I’ve been waiting and asking, ‘What is my good, what am I going to be doing?’”

She found fellow Providence parent Beth Michels, a Nature’s Sunshine representative, and after learning about the products, has teamed up with her to start doing in-home presentations. Bivens’ hope is that she can help others reach a quicker diagnosis – or simply help them see how herbal remedies can help in all areas of their lives. Her Facebook group and Nature’s Sunshine business are just the first steps, and she continues to look for ways to find her “good.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to go and do, but I want to start sharing my story,” she said. “When I was going through it, it was so hard to find information, and I just felt like a crazy hot potato (to the doctors), because they literally would say there’s nothing wrong with you. “

She wants to be there for others in the way her family was there for her, from her husband and children picking up the household tasks she was once incapable of doing, to her siblings and parents who pulled together to help. Her mother in particular was a big support.

“I don’t know how I would have made it without her and my husband and my family,” Bivens said. “They’ve been so fantastic.

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