First Tee Teens Reach for their Dreams and Inspire us Along the Way

Categories: Blog, Character Education, Life Skills, Programs

So often, we are energized by the stories we hear from our participants and alumni. From incredible feats on the course to taking their learned life skills and putting them into practice in their everyday lives, we love to see the impact that First Tee is making on youth around the world.

As part of Black History Month, we are featuring just a handful of teens who are paving their own path in their communities. Prepare to be inspired.

Mombo Ngu, First Tee of North Florida alumnus

Mombo was one of the three applicants selected for the 2019 John Deere Power for Good Scholarship in large part due to the powerful impact she is making in the North Florida community.

She has spent countless hours volunteering as an after-school math tutor, helping to host events at her church and actively donating clothing to the less-fortunate through a local non-profit, Clothes Closet. On top of receiving the $5,000 scholarship, she spent a week at TPC Deere Run during the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill, and participated in fun events and even met PGA TOUR professional Matthew Wolff.

“Throughout my life, I have faced difficulties that I believed I couldn’t overcome,” said Ngu. “First Tee has always been a key factor that has helped guide me through it all. [The coaches and mentors] have taught me that giving back to the community is crucial, and to be a power for good for at least one person makes everything worthwhile.”

Mombo has since put her scholarship to good use. She now attends the University of Florida pursuing a degree in medicine in hopes of becoming a doctor – yet another way she plans to give back. She even won an essay contest at UF for her speech about an important moment in her life. Listen to Mombo’s speech.

Marcellus Dillard, First Tee of Greater Chicago alumnus 

Marcellus recently competed as an amateur at Torrey Pines for an event in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open. The 27-hole tournament was contested on the North Course on the Saturday of the tournament. Marcellus was the only amateur to compete in the Advocates Professional Golf Association event.

Beyond the course, Marcellus is currently a junior at Florida A&M University majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. A member of the golf team, he’s had continued success in his three years. Just last month he helped lead his team to victory at the BCGCA Legends Invite by capping off with an impressive 2-under 70 to close out the final round.

Drew Charter School and Participants from First Tee of Metro Atlanta

The Drew Charter School golf team made headlines last year when they became the first all-black high school team to win the Georgia state golf championship. All members of the team are also participants at the First Tee of Metro Atlanta, and two of the coaches, Head Coach Jeff Dunovant and Assistant Coach Nyre Williams, are actively involved at the chapter serving as Director of Golf Operations and Program Director.

The team took the country by storm, garnering national attention by some prominent athletes. The team was celebrated by PGA TOUR professional Harold Varner III, who made a donation to the program. Calvin Ridley, NFL wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, arranged a party in the team’s honor. They were the talk of the town at this year’s TOUR Championship.

Many of their participants are off doing great things. Solomon Dobbs is studying Computer Science at Morehouse College while competing on the golf team. Anthony “AJ” Ford played in the 2019 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee, and the senior has recently signed for a full athletic scholarship to play at North Carolina A&T State University upon graduation. The team will look to make history – again – at this year’s state championship.

“My First Tee coaches and mentors have taught me that winners are not only defined by their scores and finishes, but by what they do to enrich their own lives and the lives of others,” said Ford. “First Tee has been a blessing for youth like me who could have easily been lost without a wonderful organization to help shape their lives.”

There are no limits to where First Tee can take you.

If you have great stories about First Tee participants and alumni in your community, we would love to hear them. Please reach out to amasterson@thefirsttee.org to submit your impactful stories.

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