Ashley Aviles (2008-2012)
"I was not familiar with rowing before my coach, Montana, came to my school to recruit student athletes. I had been in sports like baseball, basketball, gymnastics and even cross country so I was eager to give rowing a chance. Being a part of CTC really impacted my life in a positive way. For me, rowing for CTC was not only a physical outlet; Rowing became a passion for me because I was able to connect with my peers and be apart of what, to me, was like a family away from home. My coaches were also an emotional support for me that I didn’t have at home. Being a part of CTC gave me so many opportunities for travel and education. I was exposed to schools like the University of Michigan and was even able to travel to Ohio with my teammates. Rowing provided me the opportunity to fill my schedule with very positive people and experiences and I am so grateful for it! Although I did not pursue rowing past high school, it provided me with a lifelong passion for fitness and helped me realize how much I enjoy working with people. I am currently a Special Education Classroom Aide for Chicago Public Schools and pursuing a career in teaching Special Education. I hope to impact students the way that CTC impacted me.
Being a part of CTC allowed me to get really invested in rowing after not having access to a program like this, especially living in the south side. It allowed me to build long term friendships and sparked my interest in Sport Psychology. I graduated DePaul University in 2018 and am currently in my final year of grad school at Adler University. Next year I will graduate with dual degrees- M.A. Rehabilitation Counseling and M.S. Sport and Human Performance. I am excited to see where this takes me as my ultimate goal is to work with athletes. I have been lucky enough to give back and provide mental performance consulting to CTC. I am forever grateful!
When I joined CTC I was very scared, shy and nervous for what was to come. As I progressed through the program I saw myself being much more confident and less shy. I learned how to be part of a team and work together. I met a lot of awesome people along the way and took part in many exciting rowing memories. I will forever be thankful for CTC and what it has taught me.
Cormac Slade Byrd
I graduated from Yale with a BS in statistics and data science. Aside from introducing me to the sport of rowing and all the hard physical exercise that entails. CTC radically broadened my perspective of what it means to live in Chicago. The diversity of culture and background I experienced through rowing with my teammates prepared me well for dealing with new experiences and people in the future.
CTC helped me become less shy and make friends with people I would have never before. The team was also very supportive when I first started and pushed me to be better with every practice we had. I finished high school and then got into roofing.
My name is Abel Durán, class of 2010. I had never heard of rowing until after I finally joined. The experience was awesome. I was a shy person, didn’t really open up easily to anyone and kept my distance. Rowing helped me become active physically and mentally. I opened up more and improved my communication skills. Montana Butsch always had media around us. I stuck around after I graduated and became a coach for the team until 2017. I studied automotive training. I worked for 9 years at different dealerships and now Head Technician for Lyft Driver Center. I am a more responsible adult and now a father of 2 beautiful girls and happily married. I will be back soon.
When I joined CTC, I was an incoming freshman in high school. If anyone knew me at that time I was very quiet and that changed once I joined the team. Joining CTC helped me grow into more of a leader and a great team player. After CTC, I graduated with my bachelors in Human Services and a minor in psychology. Now, I am giving back to my community by doing a service year with City Year.