Stories of Resilience & Hope

Kayla Helleson -

Thrive Chelan Valley - Executive Director


1. Tell me a little about you.

I grew up in the valley, graduating from Chelan High School in 2003. I am proud of the education I received and the extracurricular activities I participated in: athletics, band and school clubs like FBLA, FCCLA and Med Club. Thanks to the support of my parents, teachers and community, I attended Whitworth College and Seattle Pacific University after high school, graduating with a degree in Psychology. I went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in School Counseling at Whitworth University and served the students of Manson Elementary for seven years before recently transitioning to Thrive Chelan Valley, serving currently as their Executive Director. 

I am married to Erik, a high school science teacher and we have two beautiful girls (Harper and Hallie). We have devoted our lives to serving youth and we are thankful for all of the people who have invested in us throughout our journey. 


2. What is the most poignant moment or time in your life where you showed resilience?

Resilience is something that all of us are born with and is strengthened through each moment of adversity. All of us experience adversity from time to time. Perseverance, hope and a sense of purpose allow us the ability to bounce back from tough circumstances. 

The recent birth of our youngest daughter, Hallie, was a traumatic experience as she came earlier than expected and struggled to breathe on her own just after delivery. Erik and I were scared as we stepped through uncharted territory together. Thankfully, she turned a corner quickly and is now a happy, healthy baby girl. We remain grateful for all of the people who supported us through those difficult times, including family, friends and medical professionals. 


3. How did that moment shape your life?

Becoming a parent has given me an opportunity to learn how to work through my own moments of adversity while also supporting my daughters through the difficulties they face as well. Difficult life circumstances have also taught me about the power of human connection...we are all in this life together. Our family has been blessed with a support system who comes alongside and strengthens our faith and hope, even in the hardest of moments. We will be forever grateful for the people who have and continue to support us. 


4. What tips do you have for those in need of hope?

- Surround yourself with positive people. 

- Be honest about your thoughts and feelings when going through difficult times. 

- Talk with someone you trust when you feel you’re approaching your stress limit.

- Remember that each moment of adversity is temporary and, with help, you can rise through it. 

-My favorite quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”  ~ Mr. Rogers

Committee to Elect Tiffany Gering 


Phone: (509) 449-2979

Address: P.O. Box 3152, Chelan, WA 98816

Paid for by the Committee to Elect

Tiffany Gering for Chelan County Commissioner District 3 (R)