More than 10 years ago, Montana Butsch turned his dream into a reality when he created the Chicago Training Center.
The non-profit program that helps underserved youth through rowing brought alternative sport to Chicago’s inner city kids.
"Dedicating my time to make the Chicago Training Center happen was the fulfillment, for me, of a lifetime dream,” Butsch said.
In June he brought his mission to the international stage via a TED Talk he gave in Spain.
“The TED Talk provided me a really good platform to talk about the benefits of rowing for the South and West sides of the city of Chicago,” Butsch said, “but also use my MBA work to talk about other sports and other activities that have the same benefit for the same group.”
Since the start of the program back in 2006, CTC has helped more than 1,000 Chicago teens learn the sport and excel on and off the water.
Butsch says, “they’ve gone on to become our coaches, they’ve gone on to row in college and more importantly they’ve gone on to graduate high school at 100 percent clip, which is a far cry from their peers at the schools they go to.”
Though Butsch has since stepped away from the training center, he's on to his next missiong of sharing rowing throughout the Chicago area and across the country.
“I’m focusing all my time in trying to get this story out,” Butsch said, "and trying to impart this type of change into communities across the country that need alternative activities for this underserved population."