The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Bullock Appoints Helland


On Jan. 11, Governor Bullock appointed a number of different Montana residents to assist him with various state issues. One of these appointees was Abigail Helland of Glasgow, who was appointed to the state's Youth Justice Council. Her primary job will be to advise Governor Bullock on a wide variety of issues that affect Montana youth, specifically youth crime.

The Youth Justice Council is composed of a variety of different young adults, under the age of 24, from throughout Montana. The primary goal of these members is to discuss with Governor Bullock the struggles and issues surrounding this population of people in the state. Each individual has a term of which they serve the governor, and new appointments are made to ensure fresh perspective on the issues.

In order to be considered for the position, Helland had to go through an application process, including providing letters of recommendation and statements regarding her desire for the position. "The idea of being involved in decisions and the ability to directly state my opinion and concerns about Montana's youth to Governor Bullock appeals to me," Helland said. She hopes by being an advisor to Governor Bullock she will become more aware of issues surrounding Montana's youth and be part of a solution. Helland brings a different perspective to the council, as she is currently pursuing a psychology degree at Montana State University-Bozeman. Her background in psychology will allow her to provide different approaches and solutions to youth issues.

The position is still fairly new to Helland and she doesn't know when her official start date will be or know when she will be able to meet with Governor Bullock to start discussing issues. As soon as all appointees are sworn in, Helland will have to participate in meetings and conference calls a few times a month with other Youth Justice Council members. These meetings will consist of a variety of discussions concerning Montana youth throughout the state.

Helland has been doing research on issues affecting area youth to bring to the first meeting, specifically the prominent drug use and underage drinking in the area. "There is a lot of drug use and underage drinking in Northeast Montana. These are major problems that need to be addressed. I want to see changes in the area" Helland said. Helland looks forward to improving the lives of Montana youth, not only in the Hi-Line but throughout the state.


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