BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – More than 100 middle school students enjoyed some SDSU staples on Saturday– football and ice cream. And it’s all thanks to a local non-profit.
The Dakota Marker game at SDSU brought in more than just Jackrabbit and Bison fans… some Sioux Falls middle school students were also in the stands.
“It’s been fantastic,” Alex Silva, a 7th grader from Whittier Middle School said.
“Really fun,” Marcus Williams, a 7th grader from Whittier Middle School said.
Lauren Soulek: What have you enjoyed the most?
“Seeing the field probably,” Williams said.
“Yeah, seeing how good they are,” Silva said.
7th and 8th-grade football players from Whittier and George McGovern Middle Schools took a trip to Brookings to watch the game, tour the Davis Dairy Plant and play catch with a few SDSU players.
“A lot of our students come from poverty, the Whittier and McGovern families come from poverty, so they might not get an opportunity like this ever,” Eric Hettinger, 7th-grade football coach at George McGovern Middle School said.
The Promising Futures Fund sponsored the trip. The local non-profit supports schools that have high levels of poverty in Sioux Falls.
“For these kids, we hope it’s just a great glimpse into what a beautiful kind of traditional day is like here at South Dakota State University,” Shawn Helmbolt, director of the office of admissions at SDSU, said.
And a glimpse at what college could be like for them.
“I like the football program so far and I think this is a beautiful school, it’s big,” Joshua David, a 7th grader from George McGovern Middle School said.
“I liked going inside the ice cream plant. We got to see how they made their ice cream and football players can go in there and work part-time,” Senaf Bekele, an 8th grader from George McGovern Middle School said.
“Having that experience and coming up here and thinking, you know, ‘hey, this could be me someday,’ you know. So that’s hopefully what some of these boys can take away from this experience,” Hettinger said.
The Promising Futures Fund hopes to take more middle school students to other colleges like USD and Augustana University.