Middle school students tour UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Middle school students tour UNI

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It was a busy day for 80 Waterloo middle school students while they visited University of Northern Iowa.

Forty girls and 40 boys got the chance to talk to different coaches, while learning what opportunities they have if they want to pursue a career in athletics.

Talent Search is a program aimed at helping students in education.

The group teamed up with Waterloo middle school students to help them set a few goals.

Students say the first-time experience was great and very helpful.

Students got the chance to talk to coaches, tour facilities, and learn all the available options they have.

Hoover 8th grade student, Devontay Betancourt, said meeting UNI football coach Mark Farley was the highlight of his day.

"It was a wonderful feeling, especially asking him personally and not like sitting off somewhere where someone can ask him the same question, but seeing him face-to-face, and him answering it personally and not in front of everyone else," Devontay said.

Other students said this day-long event gave them the chance to get on a specific path, not only to being a successful athlete but a student too.

"While in high school I want to try out for basketball and football, and I also want to try looking deeper into nursing and petroleum engineering," Devontay said.

Even though middle school students might be too young to play college sports now, they say this opportunity gives them a taste of what being a student/athlete is all about.

"I love sports, and I've done it. I thought it was just coaching and being a professional player. I didn't really know all the things you could do, and that it takes more than just being a good athlete to get into a school like UNI. It was really cool learn that and see other people, that I'm not the only one in that boat," Morgan Smith said.

According to organizers, this was the first time they held the event at UNI, and they plan to continue it every year.

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