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Tope Elementary celebrates values with CMU Maverick athletes

On October 21, students from Tope Elementary were met with a surprise visit from Colorado Mesa University student-athletes.

“We’re here to talk to the elementary schoolers to provide some insight into what it takes to be a CMU athlete and to inspire them on their long-lived academic and athletic careers,” said student-athlete Harrison Rodgers.

More than 20 student-athletes spent their Friday morning engaging with the future generation sharing their love of sports and stories of perseverance and determination. Members of CMU women’s basketball, men’s basketball, baseball, the rodeo team and Rowdy, the Maverick mascot, joined forces with Tope and Redlands Middle School. Thanks to Redlands Middle, who let the STEAM eagles borrow their mascot for the day, the Tope Eagles finally has a mascot all their own.

CMU Associated Student Government Vice President Jason Hunter kicked off the event by speaking to students about the values of love, courage, power and sportsmanship. He spoke about the importance of implementing these four pillars in the students' daily lives.

When asked about the event, Hunter said “The Tope event was a lot of fun and I was very thankful to connect with Grand Junction youth! It seems like all of the kids took something from the event. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to doing it again."

CMU student-athletes visiting the local community isn’t a new concept. This partnership between Mesa County Valley School District 51 and the university is a long-standing tradition. It’s part of the ongoing effort by the university to engage with the broader community and blur the lines of campus and city boundaries. In a world that seems so divided, sports have the power to bring people together.

“We are working on building good sportsmanship communication and collaboration with the students,” said Tope Elementary Steam Career Facilitator and Gifted and Talented Teacher Rochelle Morrison. “So I decided to do some outreach and CMU was excited to have this partnership, to come in and talk with our students about these skills.”

Both the elementary school students and Mavericks had fun at this visit. Not only did the student-athletes teach the kids about the importance of the four pillars, but the students reminded the Mavericks of what it means to be a kid again.


Written by Madelynn Fellet