The First Tee provides teen participants with opportunities to expand their horizons and interact with other youth from around the country. These events help them develop their leadership and life skills in a fun, interactive environment. In 2015, more than 350 participants attended more than 10 leadership events hosted around the country.
As the year comes to a close, we reflect back on some of the unique golf and leadership events held this year, and hear from some of the participants who attended.
Each summer, selected participants of The First Tee attend the Life Skills & Leadership Academy, where they play championship golf, participate in life skills activities and career exploration, experience dorm living and meet a wide variety of young people from around the world. In 2015, the event was held in Blaine, Minnesota where participants and coaches enjoyed a unique experience at the National Sports Center.
“I have made the best of friends and have had the best of times during (the academy) and don’t think I have felt so happy and enthusiastic,” said participant Laura McBrinn.
Watch the Golf Channel’s coverage of the 2015 event here!
One of the most unique tournaments on the Champions Tour, 81 junior golfers from The First Tee chapters are selected from across the country to compete on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course. Paired with legends of the game from the Champions Tour as their mentors, the juniors compete in the tournament alongside their Champions Tour professional. This year, Jack Avrit from The First Tee of Central Coast, won the Pro/Junior title with his partner Mark O’Meara.
RBS Achievers of the Year:
Since 2004, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has recognized outstanding participants of The First Tee and helps fund their ongoing education after high school. The event rewards deserving students for accomplishments in their daily lives while overcoming difficult circumstances. The goal of the award program is to positively impact youth by rewarding participants for exemplifying one or more of The First Tee Nine Core Values™.
Michael Mahlberg, from The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, was named the 2015 RBS Achiever of the Year and said it was “an amazing experience.”
Auntie Anne’s Leadership and Entrepreneurs Forum:
The First Tee has partnered with Auntie Anne’s to create an exciting event that combines leadership and entrepreneurship from Auntie Anne’s with The First Tee Life Skills Experience curriculum. During the three-day forum, 50 participants attend interactive sessions covering career and community leadership from Auntie Anne’s executives and franchise partners. They also learn about what it takes to work for Auntie Anne’s and spend time at Disney theme parks.
“I have a much better understanding of what it takes to run a business,” said Carson Little from The First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City. “I also have an understanding of how to take an idea and develop it into a business plan. I really enjoyed the ‘Shark Tank‘ experience of developing an idea and presenting it to potential investors. I had such a great time!”