Marlo Zamora, a participant from First Tee – Greater San Antonio, is one of 24 exceptional high school seniors who will join First Tee’s Scholar program in 2023.
Marlo has been playing golf for 12 years, and 10 of those have been spent at First Tee – Greater San Antonio.
“I really love the First Tee program because I feel like it’s one of the only programs out there where the program actually grows with you instead of you outgrowing the program,” said Marlo.
Marlo credits First Tee for introducing her to some of her lifelong friends, teaching her how to set and accomplish her goals, and establishing many of the values and morals she lives by today.
One of her biggest goals was to find a college where she could balance academics and sports. Trinity University in San Antonio was the perfect fit for her.
Marlo loved Trinity, but was hesitant in getting her hopes up about attending there. Like many high school seniors, she was worried about its high academic standards and expensive tuition, she said. On top of that, she was hoping to play collegiate golf.
After speaking with an alumna of the women’s golf team at Trinity and hearing about her great experience, Marlo’s mother encouraged her to pursue it.
Shelby DeVore, the head women’s golf coach at Trinity University, watched Marlo play at the Texas Junior Golf Tour’s Swing for the Cure.
“I ended up shooting lights out good, and right afterwards she ended up offering me the spot [on the team]. It was nice to see my years of hard work in golf pay off,” said Marlo.
On her signing day in February, all the people she was close with from First Tee – Greater San Antonio surprised her at the signing to celebrate her accomplishments.
But the surprises didn’t stop there.
In May, members of the 2023 First Tee Scholar Class were invited to join an online meeting under the impression that they would be completing a final group interview. Instead, they were met by First Tee ambassador and current PGA TOUR player, Austin Smotherman. He surprised all of them with the news that it was not a real interview, and they were all chosen as Scholars.
“It was the day before my birthday, and it was the best present I could have had. This scholarship means a lot to me because it will help me achieve my academic goals and pursue my dreams of being a computer scientist,” said Marlo.
Marlo hopes to one day be a cyber-security engineer. Through the First Tee Scholar program, she will be paired with a dedicated adult mentor who will help to encourage and guide her throughout the next four years and beyond.
“What’s so special about this scholarship is they provide a lot of mentorship, and you can’t really find that with many other scholarships. Being able to talk to someone and ask for advice is something that money can’t buy,” she said.