PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. and ATLANTA, Ga. − First Tee, a youth development organization helping kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, partnered with PGA TOUR Superstore to host a first-of-its-kind, annual leadership series over five weeks in February and March.
Teenagers across the country discovered personal values and leadership skills through interactive sessions facilitated by PGA TOUR Superstore general managers. The curriculum explored potential career fields based on interests to guide the participants as they navigate future collegiate and professional opportunities. The five-week series concluded with a virtual town hall featuring First Tee alumni and young professionals in medical, sports and communications fields.
“We are thankful to PGA TOUR Superstore for their support in helping create this incredible opportunity for so many teens to discover college and career pathways,” First Tee CEO Greg McLaughlin said. “It’s important that First Tee provides opportunities where young people can explore their futures.”
Through a post-event participant survey, 95 percent of participants said they better understood their personal values and strengths, and 91 percent have set goals to work toward their interested career pathways.
“These events often become life-changing experiences for participants to expand their horizons, meet new people and learn more about themselves,” said Dick Sullivan, President & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “We developed this curriculum to teach, help and encourage First Tee students as they advance through these development programs on their way to pursuing higher education opportunities.”
For participants like Nancy Rivera of San Jose, Calif., the Leadership Series was an opportunity to share a personal story about how First Tee values of giving back and respecting diversity have impacted her. Rivera is hoping to be the first in her family to attend college.
Experiencing national First Tee opportunities like the Leadership Series, she says, is playing a big role in making her collegiate dream that much closer to a reality. She has been a participant of First Tee – Silicon Valley since 2017. She is a student at University Preparatory Academy in San Jose where she is working on a plan to attend a four-year university or college in the fall of 2022.
“I am proud to be part of a group that promotes respect, appreciating diversity and provides tools on how to help and think of others,” Rivera said. “Respect is a big part of our daily lives, especially living in the Bay Area where we have a diverse community. I’ve learned what it means to truly, actively listen and see how listening involves asking follow-up questions to better understand the perspectives of others.
“So far we have worked together to organize food drives every week, supported different causes such as Black Lives Matter, and different organizations that help our environment.”
The Leadership Series was hosted in 27 communities across the country with PGA TOUR Superstores and First Tee chapters. Forty teens who completed the series will be selected in June for the first-ever First Tee Leadership Summit, which takes place this August at PGA TOUR Superstore Chairman and PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation Board Member Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana.
The 40 teens who will be selected for the First Tee Leadership Summit at West Creek Ranch in Montana this August will take part in interactive workshops and outdoor leadership trainings. The summit will include First Tee’s core competencies of building character, self-confidence and resilience as a part of the experience, combined with a robust curriculum of leadership and professional development. At the conclusion of the Summit, four students will be selected to be part of the First Tee College Scholarship Program thanks to PGA TOUR Superstore.
For more than a decade, PGA TOUR Superstore and Mr. Blank have championed First Tee’s mission through charitable and in-kind donations across the country. In September 2020, PGA TOUR Superstore announced a new grant that will help First Tee reach more children across the U.S. and strengthen its curriculum for teenage participants, including the development of this new Leadership Series and Summit.
The Leadership Series and Summit is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters to inspire and equip teens on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.
Source: PGA tour