The following is an excerpt from a letter from Jahbril Simpson, a participant at The First Tee of Tampa Bay.
It has been nothing but a blessing to be where and who I am today. And it all started for me at Boys Preparatory Academy–Franklin Middle Magnet when I picked up the trumpet in sixth grade and learned how to play golf in eighth grade.
After being inspired by my older brother, Rashard, to play trumpet, I won second place in my middle school talent show which gave me great confidence in what I can do to expand my musical ability.
In high school, I joined the Howard W. Blake School of the Arts band program, performing shows inspired by major music artist such as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Prince.
It was no accident that I picked up golf as well. When I was younger my dad taught my brothers and me how to hold a club, and we would hit rocks instead of golf balls in our backyard. While I was in middle school, I told the golf coach that I could play a little, and he immediately signed me up at The First Tee of Tampa Bay with my brother.
The First Tee gave me a chance to improve my game, build character, and develop leadership and life skills which will help me throughout life. The coach and staff allowed me to use their computers to complete school work because we didn’t have a computer at home. I would often stay late for hours, either doing homework or hanging out with my brother and friends. The First Tee of Tampa Bay also gave me my very first job as a camp counselor at a YMCA summer junior golf program that took place at the chapter.
Now, after four years, I’m on my way to Bethune-Cookman University where I have received a scholarship to play with the Marching Wildcats. I plan to major in business and minor in music, then eventually earn a Master’s degree.
I give an abundant amount of thanks to God and to both my family at home and at The First Tee of Tampa Bay. Without The First Tee, I’m not sure I would be where I am today.