The PGA TOUR Superstore's Super Kids program honors outstanding young people participating in The First Tee chapters around the country. PGA TOUR Superstore associates review nominations submitted by local chapters of The First Tee and select individuals to be recognized through the Superstore Super Kids program. PGA TOUR Superstore donates equipment to the Super Kids winners and promotes their accomplishments nationally and in their communities.
In partnership with The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, PGA TOUR Superstore provides financial support to The First Tee Chapters serving young people in East Palo Alto, Atlanta, Chicago, Paramus, Dallas, Delray Beach, Denver, Myrtle Beach, Naples and Phoenix. Arthur Blank, controlling owner and chairman of the superstores, became a Trustee of The First Tee in January 2012, committing $1 million to the youth development organization. For more information about recent grants, go to http://blankfoundation.org/press-releases.
To learn more about The First Tee, visit www.thefirsttee.org.
PGA TOUR Superstore is looking for Super Kid nominations that shine light on young people participating in The First Tee who demonstrate the following:
To nominate a young person from your community, please contact John Bare (JBare@ambfo.com) and request a Nomination form.
A senior at Lovejoy High School in Clayton County, Cameron has reached Eagle certification at The First Tee of Atlanta, where has attended weekly programs for six years. Cameron is an International Baccalaureate Chemistry Student, captain of the school golf team and president of Construction for Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology Robotics team.
Cameron is pursuing Ace certification and is stepping up to serve as a junior assistant coach for The First Tee of Atlanta. He was selected for the 2012 The First Tee Training Program at Hank Haney Academy, the featured speaker at the chapter's 2011 Classic at TPC Sugarloaf and served as an On-Course Junior Reporter at the 2012 TOUR Championship.
'Cameron is a great role model and demonstrates Responsibility, Integrity and Respect. When he represents our Chapter in the community, we receive glowing reports. He encourages his younger sister develop as a golfer, and he supports the needs of a brother who is autistic.' Vanessa Hawkins, The First Tee of Atlanta
As a 6th grade student, Makayla has been active in The First Tee of San Francisco for four years. Makayla participates in The First Tee activities three days a week. She volunteers three days a week at her former elementary school and at the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center. She was named to the San Francisco Unified District African American Honor Roll.
Makayla honors The Nine Core Values on a daily basis. She demonstrates perseverance by overcoming chronic asthma. The asthma has caused Makayla to miss several days of school each term, but Makayla has not fallen behind. She makes up all of her work and seeks out her teacher for questions.
'She is a participant as well as an assistant coach for the younger students. Makayla serves as a role model and academic support system to many students at The First Tee of San Francisco. Many of her peers are performing below average academically, and Makayla continually helps students with their homework and school projects.' Emily Edens, The First Tee of San Francisco
Gerardo is completing his sophomore year of high school this spring in Immokalee, Florida, and he has achieved Eagle level in The First Tee of Naples/Collier, where he has been active for five years. Recognizing his outstanding character and leadership, The First Tee nominated Gerardo for the 2013 Life Skills and Leadership Academy in San Diego and the RBS Achievers Award.
Traveling 20 miles each way to participate in a sport that was new to his family was a challenge for Gerardo. He immediately took to The First Tee and soon invited his mother, father, younger brother and sister to visit the golf course to learn the game. Before long, Gerardo had his own family gallery following him on the course. Gerardo also took on weekend fruit picking jobs to help support the family.
'Getting into college will be a huge milestone in our family, as we will be the first generation to do so. My brother is currently a junior majoring in civil engineering. He is my role model, and I hope to follow in his footsteps. My goal is to attend college and major in the Professional Golf Management program, which is something I have always wanted to do since joining The First Tee program. The First Tee has been very influential for me and has led me to become a role model to my siblings and younger kids in my community.' Gerardo
Luis, 14 years old, has been active in The First Tee of Denver for half his life. He achieved Eagle certification and is a leader in the Players' Club and the Youth Mentor Program.
Through The First Tee, Luis has gained confidence and improved his grades. Luis put in extra time every Tuesday and Thursday for two years to elevate his academic performance, eventually gaining acceptance into the Youth Mentor Program. He is approachable and has a great laugh that make the participants feel at ease.
'Luis is a great example of the core value perseverance. We play in the middle of the day in the middle of the summer, where the heat can get overwhelming. Some of the kids will ask to quit after 9 holes but Luis, no matter what his front 9 score was, will always want to keep going. Every single year we have seen him practice hard and work to improve his scores. It all culminated with a 3rd place finish in last year's Players' Club tournament series, which he was so very proud of.' Grant Casey, The First Tee of Denver
A junior in high school, Jack joined The First Tee of Metropolitan New York in 2011 and has achieved Eagle certification. He is active three or four times a week and serves as volunteer coach for The First Tee and works part-time in the pro shop.
Seeing to improve his coaching and customer service, Jack recently completed The First Tee's public speaking course. He has also completed fitness and nutrition classes and is a leader in promoting The First Tee's Nine Healthy Habits.
'Jack was very shy and quiet when he first joined our chapter. Through his commitment to becoming a volunteer coach and working with youth participants, he has improved not only his communication skills but proved he is capable of leading by example.' Todd Bordonaro, The First Tee of Metropolitan New York
A ninth-grader at Gulf Coast High School, Christian has been active in The First Tee of Naples/Collier for three years. He is pursuing Eagle certification, serves as an assistant coach for the chapter?s PLAYer Camps and represented the chapter at the Florida State Junior Team Championships this summer.
Christian has exemplified The First Tee core value of Perseverance. He underwent multiple brain surgeries as a young child and completed extensive rehabilitation. As the target of bullying, Christian responded by taking on leadership roles with The First Tee.
'Christian has embraced the Nine Healthy Habits by exercising daily and strengthening his motor skills. He is mature beyond his age, and he is constantly setting higher goals for himself. Christian will be a standout player and citizen because of it.' Jason Becker, The First Tee of Naples Collier
A freshman at Balboa High School, Faletui participates in after-school and summer programming all year long at The First Tee of San Francisco. Faletui has reached Eagle level through The First Tee, and he serves as a mentor and coach to many of the younger students.
When Feletui encountered trouble with his grades and his behavior a few years back, he asked The First Tee coaches for help. His coaches helped him craft a new study plan and worked with him to sharpen his focus. Since then, Feletui has lifted his grades, and he had perfect attendance this past term.
'Feletui is a very honest and respectful young person. He is always doing the right thing without anyone having to ask him and is always a tremendous help to the coaches. He always looks people in the eye when they are speaking and is engaged in what they are saying. He also respects his elders and displays good manners.' Emily Edens, The First Tee of San Francisco
A fourth-grade honor student, Ella enrolled in The First Tee of Silicon Valley a year ago. She participates in programs at the Gavilan College Golf Course in Gilroy and has achieved The First Tee's Par level.
Ella is both a participant and a volunteer for The First Tee, and she is committed to the core value of courtesy. When you meet her, she's guaranteed to have a smile on her face. She makes others feel welcome regardless of their age and ability.
What makes Ella different is that she has a prosthetic leg. Because of complications early on, it was necessary for doctors to amputate her right leg. Now Ella is faced with the challenge of somehow blending in with her peers. This is a big obstacle for her since she receives questions and stares. She also has physical challenges that limit mobility and cause pain. Her competitive spirit and perseverance help her keep up and often surpass her classmates.
'It is a pleasure having Ella in the program because of her polite demeanor and her positive attitude. She is a fearless leader both on and off of the golf course.' Molly Springmann, The First Tee of Silicon Valley
A sixth-grade student, Michael O. has achieved Birdie level at The First Tee of Greater Chicago. He participates in the summer program and leadership camps at Foss Park Golf Course in North Chicago.
Michael, age 12, leads by example. He honors all of the Nine Core Values and is especially strong on Courtesy and Confidence. His character shines through in the way he cares for his younger sister. Michael has overcome challenges associated with a rare genetic disorder, TAR Syndrome, that makes physical activity more difficult.
'The thing that has amazed me with Michael has been his wonderful, positive attitude. He approaches what our coaches and volunteers may think is a very difficult physical challenge for him with an incredibly positive and confident mindset. He always rises to the occasion and gives his best effort, no matter if he can physically accomplish the exercise or not. His full swing is something that I personally thought would not be possible, but Michael found a way to make it work remarkably well.' Darryl Stackhouse, The First Tee of Greater Chicago
To learn more about The First Tee, visit www.thefirsttee.org.