Why Golf?

Experiences are our greatest teacher. First Tee believes in developing the ones that are just as fun as they are meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail, and better equipped for whatever comes their way next. Through our personal growth and junior golf programs, we see kids’ build self confidence, inspiring more active participation in leadership opportunities and events, community involvement, and college scholarships.

About the Program

At First Tee, we believe that helping young people build strength of character is fundamental to success in life. Our active learning experiences are all about ensuring young people build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience, so when they face new challenges they are equipped to overcome them.

Going beyond our core programs, the enhanced First Tee College Scholarship Program is designed to provide further support, life skill development and mentorship of our alumni through their journey. Higher education continues to be a critical factor in unlocking opportunities for young people to thrive, and First Tee is committed to their success.

First Tee College Scholarship Program supports selected alumni throughout their college career. The need and merit-based program provides scholarships up to $5,000 per year, renewable for up to four years of college admission. The program also provides professional development workshops, access to internships and full-time employment placement post-graduation. One of the key factors of the program is pairing Scholars with a dedicated adult mentor who will help encourage and guide them throughout the four years.

The program is open to graduating high school seniors planning to attend college the following year. Applicants must be active members of First Tee chapters and will be considered based on financial need, academic performance, chapter involvement, volunteerism and other criteria.

2022 Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the First Tee College Scholarship Program, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

Academic Requirements

  • Must be classified as a high school senior as of December 31, 2021
  • Minimum score of 28 on the ACT and/or 1340 on the SAT
  • Test-Optional guidelines will be followed due to implications of COVID-19: If you were able to complete the ACT or SAT, please submit scores and they will be factored into your review. If you were unable to take these tests due to COVID-19, you are still eligible to apply for this program.
  • Minimum 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale
  • Intent to attend a four-year accredited college or university in Fall 2022
  • If selected, the participant must be able to attend the Pre-College Retreat and the annual Winter Workshop

Chapter and Community Participation

  • Registered and active in First Tee headquarters database at the time of application deadline
  • Involved in chapter activities at the time of application submission
    • Participants who have spent a longer amount of time in First Tee programs will receive higher consideration in the selection.
    • Evidence of responsible volunteerism or citizenship through meaningful involvement in community and/or civic activities

Scholars Class of 2022

Breonna Boyd

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First Tee – Tennessee alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of Michigan, where she plans to major in Business Administration.
  • Breonna has been involved with First Tee for nine years, where she volunteers as a junior coach teaching life skills and golf to younger participants. She has also attended three First Tee national opportunities: John Deere Drive Your Future Academy, Game Changers Academy and Innovators Forum.
  • Breonna is a two-sport athlete who ran track and played golf in high school.
  • Active member of various high school clubs, where she holds numerous leadership positions.
  • Following college, she wants to pursue a career as a program officer in corporate philanthropy.
  • Aspires to start a nonprofit that will provide natural hair care products to African American girls who need them.
  • 4.0 GPA / ACT 30

“First Tee has provided me with experience of traveling and networking with their variety of participant opportunities. I have been exposed many times to what it is like to travel alone to a destination. Along with travel, First Tee has allowed me to network with golfers from California to Pennsylvania. I have the ability to approach a person and strike up a conversation, which is important in networking.”

Nicholas Canales

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First Tee – Greater Houston alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of Nebraska, where he will play on the men’s golf team and major in business management.
  • Nicholas has been involved with First Tee for ten years, where he volunteers as a mentor teaching life skills and golf to younger participants.
  • He will be a first-generation college student.
  • Regularly volunteers within his community in food drives and at soup kitchens.
  • Was named 2019 EYS Sports Magazine Golfer of the Year.
  • Four-year varsity athlete on his high school’s boys golf team.
  • Aspires to play on PGA TOUR or work in the golf industry
  • 4.4 GPA

“I believe that learning self-control through the First Tee will definitely help me not only succeed in college but will also carry over to when I am employed. This important life skill will enable me to not get easily distracted, manage my time and resources better. Self-control will also help me to make sustained and focused efforts towards my future goals.”

Antonio DelCastillo

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First Tee – Orange County alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of Alabama, where he plans on going the pre-med track.
  • Antonio has been involved with First Tee for five years, where he teaches life skills and golf to younger participants and was recognized as the chapter’s Junior Volunteer Coach of the Year in 2019.
  • He was selected as a Scholar from a national pool of more than 300 candidates based on his participation in the inaugural PGA TOUR Superstore Leadership Series and First Tee Leadership Summit.
  • He is a member of the boys’ golf team and National Honor Society at his high school.
  • Prior to the pandemic, he spent time volunteering at retirement homes in the community hosting Bingo nights.
  • Antonio’s career aspirations include becoming a neuro-orthopedic surgeon or anesthesiologist.
  • 4.65 GPA

“As part of First Tee for five years, I have reaped the benefits of learning and using the values I learn and applying them to school, sports, and my life. First Tee is the only reason that I started to play golf, I found my passion for golf through First Tee. Now that I have been playing golf for five years I see the benefits of the values and fundamentals I built when I started.”

Srishti Dhurandhar

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First Tee – Metropolitan New York alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at New York University, where she will play on the women’s golf team and plans on majoring in electrical and computer engineering.
  • Srishti has been involved with First Tee for eleven years, where she volunteers to mentor younger participants and conduct online coding tutoring at the chapter.
  • She was selected as a Scholar from a national pool of more than 300 candidates based on her participation in the inaugural PGA TOUR Superstore Leadership Series and First Tee Leadership Summit.
  • Active member of various high school clubs
  • She is the captain of her high school boys’ golf team, where she ranked as the #1 player on the team her freshman year.
  • Srishti co-founded Greenbiz, a non-profit that collects unused and gently used school supplies and donates them to families in need, and ACE Webinars, a webinar series that assists rookie robotics teams in robotic competitions.
  • Aspires to combine her passion for sports and computers by being a data analyst for the PGA or LPGA TOUR.
  • 3.87 GPA / SAT 1370

“For the past 10 years, I have been a First Tee kid. First Tee was where I found my love for golf and gave me the foundation to reach the junior national level at which I play today. First Tee has opened the door for me to meet incredible people, experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and create lifelong memories.”

Vivian D’Orazi

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First Tee – Metropolitan New York alumna

  • 17-year-old incoming college freshman at York College of Pennsylvania, where she will play on the women’s golf team and plans on majoring in marketing with a minor in hospitality management.
  • Vivian has been involved with First Tee for 13 years, where she volunteers teaching life skills and golf to younger participants. She also attended the inaugural PGA TOUR Superstore Leadership Summit.
  • She has been captain of her varsity high school golf team for the last three years
  • Active member of various high school clubs
  • Aspires to go into event marketing for a golf related company
  • 3.9 GPA

“First Tee has helped to guide me towards what I envision for my future career. Five to ten years after completing my formal education I see myself working on the marketing side of the golf industry, hopefully planning and executing events. After spending so much of my life involved with golf, I cannot see myself not being active and involved with the game in some way. The life skills that I have developed throughout my time in the First Tee have helped prepare me for that career path.”

Dylan Ebs

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First Tee – Greater Austin alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at George Washington University, where he plans on majoring in journalism.
  • Dylan has been involved with First Tee for eleven years, where he volunteers teaching life skills and golf to younger participants.
  • Regularly volunteers with his church helping those in his community
  • He works for his high school newspaper as feature editor and is involved in various high school clubs.
  • Aspires to be a political reporter in Washington DC covering the federal government.
  • 4.1 GPA / SAT 1420

“I was relieved when I thought about the growth I experienced coaching classes at my First Tee chapter. The smiling faces of the kids after they hit a great shot, the excitement of telling them they get to play on the golf course that week. I knew that stepping up as a leader was beneficial, not just for me, but for those I impacted.”

Esther Etherington

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First Tee – Indiana alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Franklin College, where she will play on the women’s golf team and plans to major in elementary education
  • Esther has been involved with First Tee for six years.
  • Member of high school choir and golf team
  • She was awarded the 2021 Mitchel J. Winger Courage Award, an award given by the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association to someone who contributed to the success of their high school program and overcame a disability.
  • Regularly volunteers with her church
  • Esther was born prematurely and blind in her right eye. She spent the first decade of her life in and out of the hospital undertaking ten different surgeries, including heart surgery. She was diagnosed with mucoepidermoid carcinoma from a tumor in one of her bronchial tubes but is now cancer-free.
  • Aspires to become an elementary education teacher with the eventual goal of receiving a Master’s degree in Special Education.
  • 4.4 GPA

“I learned resiliency during my time at First Tee through the health issues I faced during my journey with First Tee. Throughout the whole process, I always could see the selfless service that my coaches extended towards me and other campers at First Tee. Many coaches in my local chapter volunteer on a consistent basis, without pay. They inspired me to invest in others and encouraged me to overcome trials and battles faced in life with a positive attitude.”

Maleyna Gregorio

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First Tee – Coachella Valley alumna

  • 17-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of California Riverside, where she will play on the women’s golf team and plans to major in business
  • Maleyna has been involved with First Tee for twelve years
  • She battled photodermatitis, a sun allergy, but her condition is currently in remission. She did not let this stop her passion for playing golf.
  • Captain of her golf team
  • She volunteers at an assisted living facility in her community, where she sings and plays piano and guitar to the residents.
  • Aspires to qualify for the LPGA TOUR or work in the golf industry
  • 4.56 GPA (summa cum laude)

“I like to think that First Tee is the roots to my big tree, giving me a solid foundation for leaves to extend an infinite amount of times, but without those roots none of those leaves would be there.”

Raiyan Johnson

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First Tee – Savannah alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Georgia Tech, where she plans on majoring in astrophysics
  • Raiyan has been involved with First Tee for nine years.
  • She has been a Girl Scout for ten years, where she is working on writing a children’s illustration book about astronomy to raise interest in STEM fields for young girls.
  • Runs cross country and plays tennis at her high school
  • Active member of various high school clubs
  • Raiyan regularly volunteers within her community cleaning up Tybee Beach and designing posters to address the pressing issues of clean oceans, humanitarian aid for refugees, hunger relief, overcoming bias and arts activism.
  • In her final capstone project in school, Raiyan and her peers developed a hydropower generator using Jenkins’ downspouts to generate electricity for the laptop charging stations at her school.
  • Aspires to be an astrophysicist working for NASA and apply to the astronaut training program.
  • 4.0 GPA / ACT 29

“First Tee also taught me the valuable lesson of persistence, coached through the game of golf, and applied through collaboration with peers and studying. Golf can be a frustrating game but it teaches discipline through persistence, to always keep trying even when it’s hard. That skill is useful on and off the course.”

Lea Han

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First Tee – Greater Sacramento alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Harvard University, where she plans on majoring in history
  • Lea has been involved with First Tee for seven years, where she regularly volunteers teaching life skills and golf to younger participants. She previously attended the 2021 John Deere Drive Your Future Academy.
  • Captain of varsity golf team
  • Founder and President of Examination of Race and Inclusion in School (E.R.I.S) at her high school, where she created implicit bias workshops and led presentations on systemic racism at school faculty meetings.
  • Lea interned at Stanford University under Professor Yaycioglu, where she examined 160+ primary sources and compiled a comprehensive 20-page annoted bibliography for a project mapping the Ottoman Epirus.
  • She has worked as a nonfiction editor and literary apprentice for the Breakbread Literary Magazine. Also served as the Marketing Director for the Los Angeles region for Lily Zhou’s 2022 Senate campaign.
  • In 2020, five years after the death of Sandra Bland while in police custody, Lea created a “We the People” White House official government petition to reopen the case. The petition received more than 100,000 signatures in less than two weeks, thus qualifying it for a response from the White House.
  • Aspires to be either an immigration or civil rights lawyer
  • 4.42 GPA / SAT 1570

“First Tee Life Skills instilled in me a love for community and cemented my determination to make a positive influence in others’ lives as a future lawyer. Looking forward, I know that I’ll continue to keep the First Tee Life Skills close to my heart, and that my First Tee experiences will always be a key part in my everyday life, guiding me through my adulthood.”

Zara Karim

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First Tee – Greater Washington DC alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at George Mason University, where she plans on majoring in computer science
  • Zara has been involved with First Tee for nine years, where she volunteers teaching life skills and golf to younger participants. She attended the inaugural PGA TOUR Superstore Leadership Series with her chapter.
  • She has been inducted into the National Honor Society, Computer Science Honor Society and Science National Honor Society.
  • Active member of various clubs in high school, where she holds many leadership positions
  • Zara is the captain of her high school’s varsity co-ed golf team and varsity girls’ golf team.
  • She volunteers as the Virginia Public Outreach Coordinator for the non-profit, Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services, where she has collected supplies and raised over $10,000 for underprivileged students.
  • Aspires to become a computer scientist or software engineer
  • 4.5 GPA / SAT 1480

“Throughout my childhood, I struggled with believing in myself. When I was out on the course, negative thoughts would easily creep into my mind. First Tee helped me change that. I knew that in order to develop self-efficacy, I had to push myself out of my comfort zone.”

Nelia Leong

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First Tee – Upstate South Carolina alumna

  • 17-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of Florida, where she plans on pursing the pre-dentistry track by majoring in public health
  • Nelia has been involved with First Tee for three years, where she works as a part-time employee.
  • She attended the 2021 First Tee Innovators Forum, where she developed her idea to provide environmental sustainability sessions at her chapter with younger participants.
  • She is the senior class vice president at her high school, where she plays varsity tennis, golf and runs cross country.
  • Nelia started the girls’ golf team at her high school, where she is now the captain.
  • Regularly volunteers within her community
  • Aspires to go into pediatric dentistry and have her own practice
  • 3.5 GPA / SAT 1400 / ACT 32

“I have grown immensely as a golfer, leader, and person in the last two years and am no longer the same girl who wanted to give up. I accomplished more than I ever thought possible with the skills I gained through my experiences in First Tee, and now I know I can achieve anything.”

Myles Manor

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First Tee – Greater Washington DC alumnus

  • 17-year-old incoming college freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he plans on majoring in chemistry
  • Myles has been involved with First Tee for five years.
  • He will graduate from high school with an International Baccalaureate degree.
  • Member of Student Athletic Leadership Committee and National Honor Society at high school
  • Myles plays golf and lacrosse at his high school.
  • Aspires to be a pyrologist.
  • 3.42 GPA

“The value of participating in the First Tee is immense and has positively changed my life forever. I have met so many great people, had so many great experiences, and learned about an array of new things.”

Abigale Morris

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First Tee – Phoenix alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Biola University, where she will play on the women’s golf team and plans on majoring in cinematography
  • Abigale has been involved with First Tee for seven years experiencing programs at three different chapters as her military family has moved around the country. She volunteers as a coach and mentor teaching life skills and golf to younger participants.
  • She was selected for the 2021 John Deere Power for Good contest and played in the 2021 PURE Insurance Championship paired with Steve Jones.
  • She was awarded the 2021 Greg Hoyt Jr Achievement Award, given to the most active and outstanding female at First Tee – Phoenix.
  • Abigale is dedicated to community service and is involved in many different clubs and programs that give back including being President of Interact Club, President of Skill USA club, which gathers career and technical education students interested in Media and Graphic Design and helps to explore and improve skills in these areas, and volunteers for many community organizations such as Food Bank, Crutches for Africa, Desert Mashie Camps, Salvation Army Bell Ringing and more.
  • She created a blog on YouTube about being a Student Athlete and won a national award from the Student Television Network; was awarded 2nd place out of the entire nation for the category of Pandemic Vlog for Fall 2020.
  • Aspires to have her own film company that provides film/media for nonprofits.
  • 4.6 GPA

“I would say that the First Tee has completely changed my life because golf has completely changed my life. Golf has allowed me to meet some of my best friends, open the door for scholarships in college, and has grown my relationship with my father.”

Hannah Newell

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First Tee – Greater Houston alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at LeTourneau University, where will play on the women’s golf team and plans on majoring in chemical engineering
  • She has been involved with First Tee for ten years, where she volunteers as a junior coach and mentor teaching life skills and golf to younger participants at all levels on Saturdays at the chapter.
  • She was selected as a Scholar from a national pool of more than 300 candidates based on her participation in the inaugural PGA TOUR Superstore Leadership Series and First Tee Leadership Summit.
  • Every spring break, she volunteers her time at a local camp for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • One of her greatest accomplishments includes winning the homeschool Mock Trial alongside her team. This was a semester-long project where the case was presented before a judge and Hannah acted as an attorney on the prosecution team.
  • Aspires to have a career in chemical engineering
  • 4.3 GPA / SAT 1480

“I have learned a lot of things from the First Tee, but one of the most important lessons I have learned is the value of planning for the future. This lesson has served me very well in recent years, and it will continue to do so as I plan for college and my career.”

Sabrina Poole

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First Tee – Greater Seattle alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at St. Martins University, where she will play on the women’s golf team and plans on majoring in psychology
  • Sabrina has been involved with First Tee for thirteen years, where she volunteers as a junior coach teaching life skills and golf to younger participants. She attended the 2021 Game Changers Academy.
  • Captain of her high school golf team
  • Tied first in the 2021 US Korean Open Golf Championship
  • Champion of the 2021 Tacoma Golf Association Junior Female Amateur Championship
  • During the pandemic, Sabrina made cloth masks for those in need.
  • Intends on studying human behaviors to help high school and college student-athletes who may be going through some form of mental and psychological struggles or crisis, as a clinical psychologist
  • 3.6 GPA

“I have had a few life-changing events happen in my life, and First Tee is one of them. It has enabled me to learn a lot of valuable golf skills, and more importantly, life lessons. I used to be a very shy kid, but I have learned to gain confidence in myself and to grow as a leader, through my positions as a volunteer/intern coach, as a participant in the mentoring program, and as secretary of the Junior Advisory Board.”

Nancy Rivera

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First Tee – Silicon Valley alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Middlebury College Vermont, where she plans on pursuing the pre-med track
  • Nancy has been involved with First Tee for five years. She attended the 2021 PGA TOUR Superstore Leadership Summit and 2021 First Tee Innovators Forum.
  • At the 2021 First Tee Innovators Forum, Nancy developed the idea to provide educational support and workshops 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 the process of completing the FAFSA, SAT/ACT and scholarship opportunities, how to navigate online resources, and more.
  • She is a first-generation college student.
  • Founder of her high school’s LatinX club
  • Nancy volunteers every weekend preparing and serving meals to the homeless in the community, having been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for the number of volunteer hours she had in 2021.
  • She moved to the United States from Mexico for asylum with her family in the first grade.
  • Aspires to become an OBGYN
  • 3.6 GPA

“My parents taught me the importance of superación. Which has two meanings: to overcome and improving oneself. My parents exemplified it and First Tee – Silicon Valley helped me exhibit it. I am driven by superación, to overcome challenges and help create a future for myself and family. Through my experiences with various First Tee coaches, I realized I did not have to face challenges alone.”

Ahmad Raoul

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First Tee – Greater Chicago alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Winston-Salem State University, where he will play on the men’s golf team and plans on majoring in computer science
  • Ahmad has been involved with First Tee for eleven years, where he volunteers as a coach teaching life skills and golf to younger participants.
  • Active member in various high school clubs, including the robotics club, zoology club and computer club.
  • He is a member of his high school varsity golf team.
  • Ahmad regularly volunteers at Feeding My Starving Children.
  • In 2019, Ahmad ran his own junior golf clinic in Arkansas, where he taught the basics of putting and chipping to new junior golfers who’d never picked up a club before.
  • He desires to leverage his STEM knowledge following college to further his passion for golf by utilizing and modifying applications to monitor his swing, diet, and sleep patterns to improve his golf performance and chances of playing professional golf on the PGA TOUR.
  • 3.8 GPA

“The lessons that were taught to me throughout my 11 years being a First Tee participant will help me in college because I will be able to set achievable, and also somewhat challenging, goals to help me succeed in the classroom and on the golf course. I will be able to utilize the communication skills taught to me by meeting new people every day and creating new relationships that will last throughout college and after college.”

Daniel Sears

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First Tee – Massachusetts alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he plans on majoring in philosophy and finance
  • Daniel has been involved with First Tee for eleven years, where he has volunteered and worked as a coach teaching life skills and golf to younger participants.
  • Plays soccer, baseball, golf and runs track at high school
  • Founder of Respect for Life club, that helps spread awareness of injustices that takes away from anyone’s human dignity
  • He regularly volunteers within his community.
  • Aspires to potentially go into real estate or become a lawyer
  • 4.7 GPA

“First Tee has taught me how to most effectively work with others, as well as the importance of swallowing my pride and admitting when I need help or when I do not understand something. This lesson is very important for me in particular because one of my largest issues for many years had been a struggle with pridefulness. For the longest time, I thought that it was a sign of weakness to ask others for help or that it made me look dumb or not ready to take on the responsibility I had at hand. In my time with First Tee, I have learned that to be the exact opposite of the truth.”

Connor Shooks

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First Tee – Benton Harbor alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Loyola University Chicago, where he plans on majoring in sports management
  • Connor has been involved with First Tee for six years, where he volunteers teaching life skills and golf to younger participants.
  • He attended the 2021 First Tee Innovators Forum, where he developed the idea to work with underserved communities to provide golf programming at green grass facilities and incorporate information about the health benefits of golf.
  • Was named the 2021 Heisman High School winner, where he was designated out of 150 Michigan seniors for excellence in athletics, academics, leadership and service
  • Captain of high school varsity golf and soccer team
  • He regularly volunteers within his community
  • Aspires to become either a traveling athletic trainer, a physical therapist or work for a First Tee chapter.
  • Plays the cello
  • 4.0 GPA / ACT 28

“First Tee has made a true influence on my life, and I am eternally grateful for participating in it for the past 6 years. The commitment that First Tee coaches have made to my life has been a transformative experience. They have taught me the values and character necessary for me to take on new ideas and conquer challenges.”

Kenneth Treece

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First Tee – Pine Mountain alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of Alabama, where he plans on majoring in aerospace engineering and political science
  • Kenneth has been involved with First Tee for ten years. He attended 2021 First Tee Innovators Forum.
  • Named National Merit Scholar finalist in 2022, as the top one percent of students who took the PSAT and SAT during the junior year of high school
  • He is the senior captain of his high school golf team and team leader of his high school robotics team.
  • Regularly volunteers within his community
  • Kenneth works as an assistant radio host, responsible for the technical aspects of radio broadcasts for local high school sports.
  • In 2020, Kenneth worked as an intern for the Republican Party of Kentucky.
  • Appeared on the 16th season of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”
  • Aspires to become a public defense attorney
  • 4.4 GPA / SAT 1530 / ACT 36

“I have found that enhancing my golf abilities through the First Tee has provided an outlet for stress and frustration when dealing with difficult situations in my academic career. My time in the First Tee has proven to be an invaluable experience that I would not trade for the world. Because of the knowledge I’ve gained during my time, I’ve been able to prepare myself for my endeavors in college, as well as the rest of my life.”

Alexa Vela

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First Tee – Greater Houston alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Rice University, where she plans on majoring in psychology and pre-law
  • Alexa has been involved with First Tee for ten years, where she volunteers as a junior golf mentor teaching life skills and golf to participants.
  • Alexa’s mother enrolled her in First Tee after watching Tiger Woods dominate at the Master’s.
  • Named 2021 National Hispanic Scholar, which recognizes the top ten percentage of all Hispanic/Latinx students in the state of Texas.
  • Co-captain of her high school girls’ golf team and debate team
  • Founder of “Adelente,” a student-led initiative that is dedicated to serving and mentoring students whose second language is English by supporting their academic and career endeavors
  • Aspires to become a lawyer
  • 3.6 GPA

“At First Tee the kids I met, who would soon become my first best friends, didn’t care whether or not I had a unibrow, just as long as I could hit the ball “long and straight”. In fact, many of them also had accents! They proudly informed me that they were from all over the world, places like Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Philippines. Finally, I felt like I belonged. Over the years, this renewed sense of belonging enabled me to transform into a leader and, for the first time ever, proud of who I was.”

Jaylon Wilson

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First Tee – Metro Atlanta alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he plans on majoring in finance
  • Jaylon has been involved with First Tee for seven years, where he volunteers as a coach teaching life skills and golf to younger participants during the summer.
  • President of his high school’s Beta Club, where he organizes, develops and plans community service projects
  • He serves as the lead ambassador for the organization, Stage One in Action, through their youth ambassador program with coaches and mentors who nurture, encourage and financially sponsor the growth of young people nationwide.
  • Aspires to serve the African American community through providing financial literacy, specifically to athletes and musicians, as a financial advisor.
  • 4.12 GPA / SAT 1350 / ACT 30

“First Tee – Metro Atlanta has served as a catalyst of exposure for me into the bigger and better things of the world. It taught me how to be involved and consistent in an extracurricular activity, a skill that has been rendered invaluable by the number of leadership positions that I hold in other extracurriculars in my local area.”

Iris Xue

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First Tee – Greater Washington DC alumna

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at Columbia University, where she plans on majoring in computer science and engineering
  • Iris has been involved with First Tee for seven years.
  • Captain of high school co-ed varsity golf team
  • She founded and organized Code Girls competition for girls worldwide, where she was awarded an AI4 Impact grant.
  • Worked as research intern at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she won a regional level science award
  • She was a part of the University of California Santa Barbara research mentorship program, which earned her eight college credits with a 4.0 GPA.
  • Named a MIT Future Makers Create-A-Thon AI Program finalist in 2021 for building a wildfire modeling artificial intelligence application, which qualified for the final round.
  • Currently, Iris works as an instructor at Mathnasium tutoring students in math.
  • Aspires to become a computer scientist, building artificial intelligence models to tackle healthcare challenges, such as disease modeling or disease prevention
  • 4.83 GPA / SAT 1550 / ACT 35

“First Tee has had a lasting impact on my life because it taught me not only golf skills, but also important life skills that help me grow and do better in school and daily life.”

Jacob Zakaria

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First Tee – Central Coast alumnus

  • 18-year-old incoming college freshman at the University of California Berkeley, where he plans on majoring in biology
  • Jacob has been involved with First Tee for twelve years, where he volunteers as a coach and mentor teaching life skills and golf to younger participants. He was also selected to play in the 2021 PURE Insurance Championship.
  • He is a three-time Mayors Award recipient for completing over 80 hours of community service in a year.
  • Captain of high school varsity golf team
  • Member of National Honor Society
  • Jacob has a passion for website creation, creating the user interface for a medical school tutoring company website in 2020 for his older brother.
  • His father, along with all of my uncles and aunts, grew up in a war-struck refugee camp in Lebanon with little access to food and water, let alone healthcare. This inspired him to pursue a career in the medical field as a medical doctor, helping those in rural and impoverished areas who are unable to receive adequate treatment for their health issues.
  • 4.69 GPA / SAT 1530

“First Tee has grown my love for golf, helping others, and allowed me to make friends along the way. I joined the First Tee program around when I was five years old as I wanted to follow my older brothers along. Little did I know that this program would positively influence my life for years to come. One of the most influential points out of my time with First Tee is my transition from participant to mentor. This new role came with many new responsibilities. I now had to take one group of participants and run activities while making sure that everyone is on track and engaged. These new duties fostered leadership skills that have become vital within my life.”