There is no doubt that the young women in the First Tee have a passion for golf, but what goes beyond that is their unmatched potential to be leaders and advocates. In partnership with John Deere, First Tee has brought together some of the best and brightest young women from First Tee chapters across the country to celebrate their tremendous accomplishments, and empower them to work together to solve the issues of today, and lead the next generation.
24 Teen Participants attend the John Deere “Drive Your Future” Academy
Focusing on leadership development, remaining active in the game of golf, learning the impact of volunteerism while recognizing the importance of teamwork, the John Deere Drive Your Future Academy is a three-day all-girls event that was recently held in San Francisco. TPC Harding Park, site of the 2020 PGA Championship and 2025 President’s Cup, served as the host venue for the 24 future female leaders who spent the week taking part in a variety of activities designed to enhance their skills as they transition to the next chapter of their lives – both on and off the golf course.
The week began with a welcome dinner and reception where participants heard valuable advice from distinguished speaker Anne Walker, head women’s golf coach at Stanford. Walker encouraged them to continue to be “intellectually curious.” She also reminded the women to embrace their own brand, and that how important it is to present the best version of yourself.
The participants also heard from an all-female young professional’s panel, consisting of young leaders from organizations like RPS Ventures and Chevron. Out in the field, the participants had the opportunity to tour Facebook HQ, where one of our First Tee Alumni, Taryn Yee, is currently employed. They also visited the famous Muir Woods as well as received a private tour of Stanford’s Women’s golf facility from Women’s Golf head coach, Anne Walker.
It was a fantastic week filled with inspirational stories, and valuable life lessons that will help prepare these juniors for the next stage of their career.
Three Teens RECOGNIZED FOR USING THEIR “Power for Good”
Three First Tee participants from opposite parts of the country, recently discovered they have more in common than their love of golf. Katelyn Harris of First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Kharynton Beggs of First Tee of Greater Charleston and Mombo Ngu of First Tee of North Florida were selected among a national pool of applicants to win the 2019 John Deere Power for Good Scholarship. Their award-winning essays revealed their many acts of service and the profound impact its having on their communities.
Ngu works as an after school math tutor, helps to host events at her church, and actively donates clothing to the less fortunate through Clothes Closet. For her, seeing the lives of those around her improve inspires her to do more, see more, and give more.
Harris spends her time as a volunteer coach with the California Eagles Special Olympic Athletes, even working to create a joint Skills Challenge with First Tee Life Skills participants.
Beggs models her service philosophy after the saying “Your ceiling is the floor for the next generation to stand on.” The Charleston native started her own all-girls golf class at her chapter, and is actively involved in Compass Rose, a partnership where she teaches local students from a nearby charter school how to swim.
Along with receiving a $5,000 scholarship, the trio spent the week at TPC Deere Run, during this year’s John Deere Classic. The girls participated in all kinds of fun events from getting to drive a John Deere tractor to playing where the pros play at the John Deere Classic Pro-Am. They even met recent PGA TOUR Champion Matthew Wolff! At the course, they also got a behind-the-scenes look at the tournament and experienced what it really takes to put on a PGA TOUR event week after week. On their last day, the participants headed over to the John Deere Harvester Works, John Deere’s manufacturing facility for large agriculture equipment. It was an amazing experience for these young women, one that created memories they will not soon forget.