As airports go, it’s hard to beat the short lines and wait times at Bismarck Municipal Airport. But flying out three days before Christmas, the 30 minutes or so I spent in line allowed me to meet two remarkable young ladies.

Twin sisters Morgan and Brittany Williams were ahead of me in line and then also ended up across the aisle on the plane.

Like me, they were traveling to be with family for Christmas. I don’t know if it is the salesman or journalist in me, but I like to hear people’s stories, and these two young ladies have a great one.

I was curious, what would bring two Chicago area natives to North Dakota?

Both are licensed clinical social workers and both have master's degrees in social work, from the same university, of course.

Their careers have largely tracked one another, which recently brought them to North Dakota’s Home On The Range in Sentinel Butte.

For those who may not know, the facility provides a safe home for youth who have experienced physical or emotional trauma.

They are excited and challenged by the work, which they describe as their calling. It’s what they are meant to do and they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

With only 40 or so students at a time they are able to get to know the students and their families.

There is no doubt they deal with some very sad and difficult situations, but the duo knows they are making a difference in the lives of their students.

I was vaguely familiar with the facility, having seen the signs for it along the highway, but their enthusiasm caused me to look it up and learn more about it.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lievens, ranch owners, donated the 960-acre ranch to Father Elwood Cassedy in 1950 to promote his vision to help teenage boys. Since 1990 the facility also has served teenage girls.

The program is fully accredited and licensed and operates as a not-for-profit organization.

You may find more information about this wonderful program at

Thank you, Morgan and Brittany for brightening an otherwise uneventful travel day, and for sharing your enthusiasm for your work.

I look forward to visiting.

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On another note, four copies of the book “Forgiven,” which I wrote about on Dec. 22, remain in our reception area. You are welcome to take a copy and share it with someone when you have read it.

Gary Adkisson is publisher of the Bismarck Tribune.