At the heart of The First Tee are many young people with inspiring stories. Participant Pedro Ortiz from The First Tee of Monterey County had the incredible opportunity to share his story at the 2014 Trustee dinner for The First Tee board members–in front of dignitaries including Honorary Chair President George W. Bush, Board Chair and PGA TOUR Commission Tim Finchem, Champions Tour player Bobby Clampett and other Trustees!
Pedro is a senior at Salinas High School and is very active at his chapter as an assistant coach. He also has an internship at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. and hopes to attend UCLA to study engineering. Below is his story of courage, perseverance and leadership, all which highlight the positive impact The First Tee has in the lives of young people across the country.
By Pedro Ortiz, participant, The First Tee of Monterey County
To my disadvantage, I come from a Hispanic background, which unfortunately limits my opportunities. My parents lived through difficult times in Mexico and as a result, they did not achieve a high level of education. Eventually, my parents decided to leave their home country and move to the United States, in search of the American Dream. I have struggled in life; however, I have persevered and managed my way to where I am today and continue to keep moving forward.
Unfortunately, the city I live in is known for its gang violence. I wanted a better future, free from violence. That is why I joined The First Tee. The more I learn about the game of golf, the more I can apply it to my daily life and the outside world. As a participant, I learn from persevering through problems to making the right choices based on my judgments.
I have the potential to accomplish new wonders. My parents not only wish for me to have a better life, but hope that I would have a successful future. I want me to be SOMEONE in society, SOMEONE who will be triumphant, SOMEONE who will one day say, “I did it.”
It is my parents’ desire for me to attend college (first generation), and to become a role model–someone my two younger sisters can look up to–but most importantly, be the pride of the family.
Therefore, I believe that The First Tee will guide me towards my life goals.
I want to become SOMEONE.
I am ready for the next level.
I am ready to Write The Future.
Click here to become involved with The First Tee and see how you can make a difference in the lives of young people in your community.