ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (June 10, 2020) – Seven high school graduates received a surprise personal congratulatory message today from President George W. Bush, Honorary Chair of First Tee, on their selection into the inaugural class of the First Tee College Scholarship Program. This Class of Scholars includes aspiring doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs, several of whom will be attending Harvard, Yale and Duke University.
“Your hard work has paid off,” said President George W. Bush, via video message. “The coming years will bring new learning, new friendships, new challenges and new opportunities. Remembering the values you have learned through the First Tee will help you for the years to come. Laura and I join your family and friends and recognize you on this special occasion, and we send our best wishes.”
First Tee’s College Scholarship Class of 2020 includes:
Luke Boldt, First Tee – Coastal Carolinas, East Carolina University
Luke has been an active First Tee participant since he was four years old. In that time, he has earned Ace certification, the highest level in the program, and developed into a leader on and off the golf course. He founded a special needs golf program with his twin brother, “Buddy Tee.” He is an Eagle Scout and played in the 2019 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee with Jeff Maggert at Pebble Beach, Calif. Luke plans to major in Public Health at East Carolina University.
Blake Brantley, First Tee – Triad, Yale University
Blake will pursue golf at the collegiate level as a member of the men’s golf team at Yale University where he will major in Economics and Pre-Law. He was the captain and MVP of his high school’s varsity golf team and served as the captain of the Academic Team. He credits First Tee with inspiring him to give back to members of his community and co-founded a charity called “Golf For Life” in which he helped raise $50,000 for a scholarship fund for other First Tee participants. Blake has been a participant at his chapter for eight years, earning Ace certification and volunteering as a coach and mentor to younger participants.
Ricky Lam, First Tee – Tri-Valley, Harvard University
A first-generation college student, Ricky will attend Harvard University majoring in Economics. He aspires to become a leading financial advisor and entrepreneur. He is the Salutatorian of the Oakland Technical Class of 2020 and a National Merit Commended Scholar. He is a Boy Scout and peer tutor for AP Statistic students and plays on the varsity golf team. An Ace participant at First Tee, Ricky volunteers as a coach and mentor to the kids at his chapter.
Kelly Low, First Tee – Fort Worth, University of Texas at Dallas
Kelly has been a First Tee participant for five years, earning Ace certification and volunteering as a junior coach and member of the chapter’s Junior Advisory Board. She is a first-generation U.S. citizen and will attend the University of Texas at Dallas where she will major in computer science. Her passion for science extends beyond the classroom. Kelly was a member of the Rocket Science Club, interned at Lockheed Martin and volunteered at the River Legacy Foundation where she taught children about nature. She is also an AP scholar and member of the varsity golf team.
Nicole Monsalve, First Tee – Miami, Duke University
Nicole is an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Hispanic Scholar. She will attend Duke University, majoring in Pre-Med, Biology and aspires to be an NFL team doctor. A two-sport athlete in both golf and track, Nicole also spent her time volunteering with the First Tee – Miami High School Prep Bootcamp, providing young athletes help with schoolwork and time management. She also serves as the founder and director of “Box It Tournament,” raising more than $6,000 for a local homeless shelter. Nicole has been a First Tee participant for more than five years, serving as a junior coach and counselor while also an active member of the First Tee Junior Advisory Board.
Sara Rintoul, First Tee – Central Florida, University of Florida
Sara will attend the University of Florida and major in Health Sciences and International Studies. She is a recipient of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship, where she traveled to North Africa in 2019 to represent the U.S. and learn Arabic. Her extracurriculars include President of the Model United Nations team, Vice President of We Dine Together Club, promoting inclusion at school, and captain of her varsity golf team. She has been a First Tee participant for seven years attending the Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. Life Skills and Leadership Academy in 2018 where she was awarded the Renee Powell Outstanding Female Leader Award.
Remi Shendell, First Tee – Metropolitan New York, Emory University
Remi aspires to attend medical school and become a doctor for infectious diseases at the CDC or WHO. She will attend Emory University, majoring in Biology and Human Health. Remi is an AP Scholar with honors and was active at her school serving as captain of the golf team and Director of Public Relations for the Girls Learn International chapter, empowering middle and high school students to advocate for human rights, equality and universal education around the world. An Ace First Tee participant, Remi has been involved at First Tee – Metropolitan New York for nine years and serves as an tutor and junior coach.
The First Tee College Scholarship Program extends its impact to alumni by providing support throughout their post-graduate career. Each of the scholars will be paired with a dedicated, trained adult mentor who will help encourage and guide them throughout the college experience, including virtual and in-person meetups. The program also provides scholarships up to $5,000 per year for four years, plus professional development workshops held in-person throughout the year. In addition, scholars will receive assistance with internships and full-time employment placement post-graduation. First Tee is a youth development organization dedicated to providing active learning experiences that empowers young people to build their character through the game of golf.
“We are so proud of the First Tee College Scholarship Class of 2020,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee. “We are inspired by this remarkable group of young leaders who were selected from an impressive applicant pool of First Tee alumni candidates. We look forward to continuing to empower them to build their confidence and inner-strength as they set out to accomplish their dreams and make a difference in the world.”
The First Tee College Scholarship Program is open to active participants of First Tee chapters graduating from high school who meet the minimum requirements. Applications were received from participants at 32 chapters in 24 states across the nation. Following an online application process, 10 finalists were selected by a committee for one-on-one interviews. Applicants were considered based on financial need, academic performance, chapter involvement, volunteerism, community service and other criteria.
President George W. Bush has been First Tee’s Honorary Chair since 2009. He succeeded his father, President George H.W. Bush, who served as First Tee’s Honorary Chair since the organization’s inception in 1997.
About First Tee
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach more than 3.5 million young people annually on golf courses, in elementary schools and at youth centers. Its headquarters are in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, with programs in all 50 United States and select international locations.