VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – A chance to learn more about college and watch a basketball game were in store for Whittier and George McGovern middle schoolers Saturday.

The girls’ basketball teams from both Whittier and George McGovern middle schools in Sioux Falls took a trip to Vermillion to get a taste of the college life.

“I really enjoyed meeting the people and hearing their college experience,” Sky Kane, an 8th grader from George McGovern, said.

The trip was sponsored by the Promising Futures Fund, a local non-profit which supports students attending schools in the Sioux Falls School District with higher rates of poverty.

“You know, a lot of middle school, no matter what middle school you’re in, not just Whittier or George McGovern, they don’t always have these opportunities to be able to take kids to a college to be able to see a college game,” Ashley Crownover, Whittier Middle School coach, said. “And so being able to provide students with this opportunity, again, not only just encourages them to work hard as an athlete but encourages them to do great things as an individual or student.”

Before attending a USD women’s basketball game, the middle schoolers got to hear from both current and former USD students.

“They talked about setting a goal and keeping the goal and achieving it, so I think that’s something I’ll take away with me,” Kane said.

“Taught them that it starts now, like they need to start building those habits now, working hard,” Taylor Sudenga, Whittier Middle School coach, said.

“Building the goals, the foundation now is important,” Crownover said.

The girls went home with a USD t-shirt, some red sunglasses and maybe even a picture of what their future could look like.

“Like see how people, like college students, would play if I went to college,” Layla Terry, an 8th grader from Whittier said.

“Just feel inspired to, you know, one day maybe go to college or if that’s not the right path for them, to be able to get a job and be able to pursue their dreams,” Crownover said.

The Promising Futures Fund also sponsored a trip for the football teams at Whittier and McGovern in November. They went to SDSU for a football game.