BUTTE – “Honestly, making them smile, it’s nice to see their smiles every time you walk in. It’s very humbling,” Braxton Porter said.
When Montana Tech student-athletes Braxton Porter and Meg Delaney walk into any local Butte elementary school, the children’s faces truly light up with excitement. Braxton and Meg are just two of the many student athletes participating in Montana Tech’s ‘Tech Way’ program, which gets the members of the Montana Tech community to serve as role models for the youth in the Butte community.
“It’s really important, honestly, because if they see that they’re going to want to come to the games, they’re going to want to support, they’re going to want to donate,” says Braxton Porter.
More importantly, it bridges a connection between the student-athletes and the kids who aspire to be just like them. It all stems from the true meaning of the word community that Butte embodies.
“All the student-athletes and students on campus are really close,” Delaney said. “I think that as a whole community, this Butte community is really close, so being able to kind of extend through the university into the whole community is what kind of what Butte is all about, which I love about it.”
“It’s a really great thing. I think it’s great for our student athletes to learn more about service, and giving back,” assistant AD for community outreach and women’s basketball coach Carly Sanon said. “It’s also good for the youth in our community to see such positive role models that are going to come in and talk about respect.”
The ‘Tech Way’ program gives back in more ways than just inside the classroom. Montana Tech student-athletes invited kids from all over the local elementary schools to come watch the men’s and women’s basketball teams in a doubleheader as apart of their field trip day games.
On Dec.18, kids from all the Butte elementary schools got out of the classroom setting and got to dance with their favorite Orediggers courtside while watching the Montana Tech men and women’s basketball teams sweep Salish Kootenai. But more importantly, it culminated a few months of valuable connections and lessons these kids will be able to hold onto forever. Showing that in Butte if you give to the community, in return that same community will always give right back to you.