Breanna's Story Nowhere else i'd want to raise my family.

I was born and raised in Benson, MN and have a beautiful son named Ryker. I currently am a licensed daycare provider in my home and am a dance instructor. I worked in the criminal justice field for years but I started daycare to stay home with my son when he was born and to complete my Criminal Justice/Community Psychology/Chemical Dependency majors.

I left Benson for a year to attend college but realized quickly how much I missed my hometown. I missed the memories I made here and my family. I always knew I wanted to stay in Benson, so when I came back from that year of college, I ended up purchasing a home and have been there since. As a daycare provider, I get to love and care for children from newborn to school age. It's a pretty special job. I get to watch them grow into beautiful and intelligent little people. I am also a dance instructor, I teach a variety of ages in school -- everything from proper techniques to routines that they end up performing for the community at the end of the season.

"I realized quickly how much I missed by hometown."

Benson is a safe, loving, supportive small town. You don't get that in a larger community. It's a town that you can see yourself raising a family in and that's exactly what I ended up doing. I enjoy the little things this community offers like being able to walk with my son to the local bakery (which let me add has the best chocolate covered donuts and peanut squares you'll ever find), smiling at the fact that everyone that drives by are people you know, they wave and smile back, and when we finally get to the bakery there are more welcoming faces to greet us, to smile and gawk at my son, asking him how old he is and what his favorite 'goodie' is. It just warms your heart. That's the type of environment I want to raise my kid in and help raise my daycare children in.

I can bring my daycare kids everywhere on outings because of the security. The elderly people we meet everywhere we go light up when they hear my kids saying "HI! HI!". They even love when the kids call them Grandma and Grandpa. We play at local parks and visit local businesses 'just because'. It's those type of little things that you get from a small community that you just don't feel or see in larger communities.


I enjoy the 'small' things it offers like I've mentioned before. Along with the security, safety, support, and friendships, I really enjoy that the community stands as whole. Everyone is looking out for one another. In larger communities, you can never get away from the chaos. A joy of living in a small town is that you can always venture to a larger area for a period of time, whether it's a night out or a weekend get away, and then come back to the calm.

Plus, there is actually a lot to do in a small town. Though it's not all about a large shopping mall or fancy restaurants, I have many options to fill my free time. Whether it's fishing at the river that flows through town, taking my son to the lake, getting family together to ride four-wheelers at the farm, seeing a movie at the local theater, going to eat at the local cafes that always have the best food, or going on a bike ride at sunset. We have many days at our local pool and parks...because that is the reality and joy of living in a small town. You get to do these things. Everything around you offers opportunities.

Where's your favorite place to go in Western Minnesota?

I'm really wanting to make it a summer ritual to visit state parks. We don't necessarily have a specific favorite spot. We love the outdoors, hiking, rivers, and lakes no matter where it is which is why I love the idea of visiting state parks. The place we visit the most is probably Swift Falls because my mother lives there right on the lake. So we spend many days and nights out there.

How would you convince your friend to move to this area, why would they want to make the move?

Change is always scary, but when you count all of the things our area has to offer, it's more reassuring. There are plenty of job opportunities (here and surrounding areas that are not far of a drive), and there is a great family setting, safety, long term security (raise a family, schooling and sports for children, employment, etc), support, and a positive environment.

My whole family is here and family is very important. I want my son to see what's important in life and I feel this area offers that. He has safety, support, education, sports, and can learn respect. And for myself, there are plenty of job opportunities along with a close community. I have gained so many friendships and life lessons by growing up the way I did in this community, so I know that it is great for future community members and our younger generations.

Describe Western Minnesota in one word.


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