24 high school seniors selected for First Tee’s Scholar program, receiving mentorship, professional development and financial support 

Averaging nearly 10 years of First Tee participation, this year’s scholar class includes 3 first-generation students and 6 collegiate golfers 

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (June 5, 2023) – The First Tee College Scholarship Program welcomes 24 new members to its 2023 class, bringing the total number of First Tee Scholars to 70. Each one of these scholars has demonstrated character and work ethic both on the golf course and in the classroom, which will help them succeed at schools across the country, including Howard University, the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University. 

The class of 2023 – comprised of 14 young women and 10 young men – was selected from a competitive national pool of First Tee teens. This diverse group of Scholars represents 21 First Tee chapters across 18 states. The Scholars’ future aspirations range from becoming doctors and lawyers to studying economics, biometric engineering, computer science, professional golf management and journalism. Six plan to play collegiate golf.  

The First Tee College Scholarship Program aims to support alumni after high school graduation by pairing each Scholar with a trained adult mentor to provide guidance throughout their college careers and beyond. Each Scholar will also participate in professional development workshops and receive up to $5,000 per year towards tuition and expenses. 

First Tee re-launched its Scholar program in 2020 to further serve some of its most engaged participants after high school graduation. Texas Wesleyan University’s Malisone Chanthapanya recently became the first First Tee Scholar to graduate from college this May. She earned her degree in finance. 

“Welcome to our new class of Scholars and congratulations on being selected,” said First Tee CEO Greg McLaughlin. “The decision to embark on higher education is an important one and I am proud that First Tee can continue to support alumni through the process. Thank you to our partners who support the program and our mentors who provide year-round guidance.”  

Participants across First Tee’s network submitted applications to be a part of the latest Scholar class. Following an online application process, finalists were selected by a committee for one-on-one interviews. In addition to academic performance, applicants were considered based on financial need, chapter involvement, volunteerism and other criteria.  

First Tee College Scholarship Class of 2023:  

  • Average years with First Tee: 9.6 
  • 3 first-generation college students 
  • 71% ethnically diverse 

2023 Collegiate Golfers:  

  • Jeremiah Brown, First Tee – Greater Philadelphia: Catholic University 
  • Mariane Johnson, First Tee – Gulf Coast: Palm Beach Atlantic University 
  • Kyzar Joshi, First Tee – Massachusetts: Hamilton College 
  • Falyn Lackey, First Tee – Southeastern New Mexico: Western New Mexico State University 
  • Colin Vineberg, First Tee – Greater Baltimore: Dickinson College 
  • Marlo Zamora, First Tee – Greater San Antonio: Trinity University 

The 2023 Scholar class includes: 

Daryn Dickens, First Tee – Greater Washington, DC  
Howard University; Major: History  
Daryn will be following in the footsteps of her mother, father and brother by attending Howard University where she will study history in preparation for law school. 

BJ Little, First Tee – Metro Atlanta  
Georgetown University; Major: Political Science  
BJ was the president of the Student Government Association, a member of the Black Student Union and started the golf team at his high school. 

Maria Ramos, First Tee – Greater Philadelphia  
University of Pennsylvania; Major: Engineering  
Maria is a first-generation college student that plans to study engineering; she has already been honored for her work with AI for creating a program that analyzes social media sentiments to predict stock market trends. 

Visit firsttee.org/college-scholarship to learn more about the program. Learn more about the 2023 Scholar class and download their headshots here


About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”) 
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its 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 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach millions of kids annually through its network of 150 chapters, 11,000 schools and 1,900 youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.   

Media Contact:  
Megan Hart, First Tee  
[email protected]