Monica L. Peone of the Rawhide Press reports that Levi Horn, the fearsome tackle of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, made an appearance at the Alex Sherwood Memorial Community Center to speak to a gymnasium packed with young American Indians. The community center is sponsored by the Spokane Tribal Youth Council and Prevention Program, and the kids were from the Spokane Reservation and the surrounding areas.
As Peone writes in her press release, “Levi is an example for Native American Youth. He’s an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and grew up in Spokane, Washington. He became an All-State athlete his senior year and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Oregon. After one year at Oregon, Levi transferred to the University of Montana and went on to win numerous individual and team awards. Levi is now starting his second year in the National Football League as a Chicago Bear. He is actively utilizing his successes in athletics as a source of inspiration for Native people everywhere.”
Levi shared stories from his childhood, and told the kids that the best advice he could give was to not be afraid to get off the reservation. “I was afraid to go to school, don’t be afraid to get off the reservation. I was scared of college, but you can do it. The worst part is leaving. Home will be there for you. You’ll be back and be a better person. Surround yourself with positive influences. They helped me become who I am today.”
Horn stayed until all of the children and adults got the photo opportunities that they wanted and signed autographs until the last child was taken care of. Monica Tonasket, the Spokane Tribal Youth Council mentor, told Peone, “We really appreciated Levi’s message. Levi was a great inspiration to our young people. It made my day to see these little guys so excited. Levi was very humble and gracious. He actually sat in the dining area of the youth center after he changed into his football jersey and shorts and a bunch of little kids sat on the floor around him while he continued to answer their questions. I was very pleased with his demeanor and respect he showed all of us here. He truly is giving back to the communities and is placing himself out there as a role model for our young people.”