Last Sunday, we featured a story about the University of Montana’s efforts to recruit Native students – not just to come to UM, but to stay once they get there. This week, we’re happy to feature a UM success story.
Levi Horn grew up in Spokane, but his mother is Northern Cheyenne and much of the family lives in Lame Deer on the tribe’s southern Montana reservation. Horn says he takes after the Native men in his family – they’re big, and so is he.
How big? We’re talking 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds in eighth grade. Football was a natural choice. But there were two obstacles: Gear for a still-growing guy was beyond the means of a struggling single mother. And even when financial aid came through from a local youth center, there was still the issue of Horn’s lack of focus and discipline, according to this Missoulian story by Fritz Neighbor.
A talk from his coach helped turn things around. Scholarship offers arrived. Horn started at Oregon and transferred to Montana. The left tackle is, as Neighbor writes, “a 6-foot-7 behemoth with soft hands and a big motor.”
Horn says his own story has inspired him to help others.
“It did work out for me,” he says. “But I had tons of help from my coaches, my community, the school, the teachers … That’s why when I had my first social work class, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do.’ To give back.”