PARK HIGH SCHOOL | LIVINGSTON, MONTANA
The quaint little town of Livingston is surrounded by three majestic mountain ranges and nestled on the banks of the mighty Yellowstone River in southwestern Montana. Known as the original gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Livingston is a beautiful, rustic town and an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
While on the surface Livingston seems like heaven on earth, its residents face some tough socioeconomic challenges. Per capita income and median household income are well below the national average. The local economy relies heavily on a seasonal tourism industry. And most of the wealth comes from nonresidents who have vacation homes in Paradise Valley, creating a huge wealth gap in the community.
Livingston’s Park High School has endured extreme economic hardship due to lack of funding and budget cuts. The town’s poverty issues have surfaced in the school through drug use and a high suicide rate. But this crisis has also sparked positive action within the community, including a collaborative project dubbed Live Well 49 that focuses on improving wellness in all aspects of life.
In 2012 Park High was fortunate enough to receive a school improvement bond, but the weight room was not included in the upgrade and remained in its rundown state, untouched since the 1980s. That is until the Lift Life Foundation caught wind of Park High’s situation and gifted them a brand-new, weight room worthy of the twenty-first century!