Earlier this month, twenty-eight First Tee participants attended the First Tee’s Innovators Forum in San Jose, California, where they participated in interactive workshops and heard from global leaders on a variety of topics including education, sustainability and healthcare advocacy. During their time there, they created a community service project plan to execute in the next eight months. First Tee Trustee, CapTech, was there to assist them in their creation of the service project through their creativity, innovation and goal development session.
Of the twenty-eight participants, two First Tee participants from Seattle and San Jose, Calif. were selected to receive a $10,000 educational stipend to support their continuing education for their intentional and innovative commitment to community service.
Austin Picinich from First Tee – Greater Seattle is a 16-year-old junior at Juanita High School. He is creating a community mural that educates visitors on the salmon life cycle and about the history of Juanita Creek, a creek where the salmon population has declined to nearly zero due to the pollution. Austin plans to partner with Urban Artworks to engage community members and provide them with a unique opportunity to become ambassadors for Juanita Creek. Ultimately, Austin desires to contribute funds to conservation groups assisting with making Juanita Creek healthy again.
Nancy Rivera from First Tee – Silicon Valley is a 17-year-old senior at University Preparatory Academy and is set to be a first-generation high school graduate. Through her service project, she plans to provide educational support for bilingual families that will be offered in accessible community areas. The workshops will be offered in Spanish and include resources on how to effectively communicate and support their child as they pursue post-secondary education, such as how to sign into school websites, how to navigate online resources, and more.
“We are proud of all of the teens that attended the First Tee Innovators Forum, and especially Austin and Nancy.” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee. “Their commitment to their communities is impressive and we look forward to watching them grow as leaders and game changers as they implement these important initiatives.”
Six additional First Tee participants are receiving $2,000 towards continuing their education, bringing the total amount awarded to $32,000.
The Innovators Forum is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. Find a chapter near you to learn more and get involved.