40 First Tee teens from across the country will experience the wonders of Montana, sharpen their leadership skills during two week-long retreats.
WEST CREEK RANCH, Mont., (July 31, 2023) – First Tee and PGA TOUR Superstore are set to host 40 teens from across the country at West Creek Ranch, an intimate setting in Montana for leadership development, community building, inspiration and connection owned by PGA TOUR Superstore chairman and First Tee board member Arthur M. Blank. The teens will learn about leadership and explore their own strengths and values during two week-long Summits, which will feature guest speakers, leadership training and outdoor activities.
Each week will tee off with keynote speakers who will discuss their individual leadership, open up about their life experiences and how they have grown through opportunities and challenges. The first week will feature actors Michael Peña and Kathryn Newton, the latter a First Tee – Miami alumna, who will also play golf with the participants. Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman will be the featured speaker during the second week. Photos and videos of Peña, Newton and Raisman will be available here.
Set in the unforgettable backdrop of West Creek Ranch, the First Tee Leadership Summit is designed to help teens grow their leadership skills through dynamic activities that require teamwork and personal strength, including golf, small group reflections, whitewater rafting, hiking and more. Daily leadership themes include building authentic relationships, growing through challenge and building positive self-identity.
This is the third consecutive year that nonprofit youth development organization First Tee and PGA TOUR Superstore will hold the Summit at West Creek for 40 participants from 25 cities across the country, with 20 teens attending each week. West Creek Ranch is a 6,600-acre working ranch in Emigrant, Montana, that is bordered by the Yellowstone River and Gallatin National Forest.
“The First Tee students are going to have a memorable week learning about innovation and creative problem solving, share unique experiences that will inspire ideas and most importantly build relationships with their peers from across the country,” said Dick Sullivan, Executive Chairman & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “We truly believe in the purposeful impact sports can have in developing and supporting youth and are proud to partner with First Tee across the country throughout the year.”
“Thank you to Arthur Blank and PGA TOUR Superstore for continuing to support this impactful event,” added Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “We are confident these 40 participants will take away lifelong lessons and make incredible memories.”
At the conclusion of the Summit, four students will be selected for the First Tee College Scholarship Program and will receive financial support as well as access to mentorship and professional development opportunities throughout college.
To be eligible for the Summit, teens completed a five-week Leadership Series that was hosted at PGA TOUR Superstore locations across the country and completed applications that outlined their leadership experience and goals. The diverse group of selected participants – 24 young women and 16 young men – on average have spent seven years in the First Tee program.
For more than a decade, PGA TOUR Superstore and Arthur Blank have championed First Tee’s mission through donations and by supporting participant events, including the Leadership Summit and the Leadership Academy, which was held for the first time in Atlanta earlier this year.
The Leadership Summit is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee to expose teens to new challenges and inspire them as they prepare to embark on life after high school.
FIRST TEE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS: July 31- Aug. 4
Name First Tee Chapter
Jeremiah Aguiniga First Tee – Greater Chicago
Allison Brown First Tee – Greater Philadelphia
Jaden Chin First Tee – San Francisco
Matthew Cook First Tee – Metro Atlanta
Gabrielle Cunningham First Tee – Green Valley Ranch (CO)
Mary Kerr First Tee – Greater Houston
Zoe Kim First Tee – Orange County (CA)
Sophia Lohr First Tee – Greater Dallas
Georgia Meysman-Sharpe First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains
Elise Njogu First Tee – Silicon Valley
Li An Panfil First Tee – Silicon Valley
Aryana Persaud First Tee – Central Florida
Harrison Powell First Tee – North Florida
Joaquin Rodriguez First Tee – Green Valley Ranch (CO)
David Sandino First Tee – Florida Gold Coast
Rhea Shetty First Tee – Tri-Valley (CA)
Randee Tormondsen First Tee – Utah
Nathan Vertes First Tee – Florida Gold Coast
Bailey Webb First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains
Jake Zulueta First Tee – Greater Charlotte
FIRST TEE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS: Aug. 7-11
Name First Tee Chapter
Rizwaan Bana First Tee – Orange County (CA)
Aanya Batra First Tee – Tri-Valley (CA)
Kennedy Bell First Tee – Greater Austin
Seth Damsgard First Tee – Minnesota
Peyton DeBruin First Tee – Greater Houston
Jillian Fatkin First Tee – Coastal Carolinas
Hailey Hays First Tee – Coachella Valley
Megan Horacefield First Tee – Greater Houston
William Inman First Tee – Savannah
Charli Jones First Tee – Greater Philadelphia
Rida Karim First Tee – Greater Washington, DC
Emmy Martinez First Tee – Greater Dallas
Ethan Miller First Tee – Greater Washington, DC
Joseph Neddo First Tee – North Florida
Lorelei O’Donnell First Tee – Fort Worth
Brandon Quach First Tee – Raritan Valley (NJ)
Xander Sehgal First Tee – Greater Washington, DC
Melony Su First Tee – San Francisco
Christopher Taylor First Tee – Massachusetts
Claire Young First Tee – San Francisco