Congratulations to our 2020 Scholarship Winners!
This year First Tee – Denver was able to award five $10,000 scholarships with the help of our wonderful sponsors!
Ha’mani Ashley – The O’Sullivan Law Firm Scholarship
The O’Sullivan Law Firm Scholarship gave me the confidence to continue to strive for the best. It gives me hope to reach for my dreams knowing that if I ever fall back there’s support right there behind me. Knowing someone has faith in me and my future gives me the confidence to jump over any obstacles that come my way. The First Tee has always had my back for 10 years. The First Tee to me means guidance and acceptance, 7 year old me never realized how much more than golf lessons The First Tee was. It has been a community where I grew up, worked, and played. The same coaches that instructed me are still here with me watching me move on to the next chapter in life. For many summers The First Tee was a place I went and I was always encouraged and supported, the coaches helped develop my character, golf skills, and work ethic. I feel also very appreciative of the scholarship committee and O’ Sullivan Law Firm for selecting me as a recipient of the scholarship. Receiving this scholarship means I can now put it towards the tools I will need such as housing, school supplies, tuition/student fees, etc. As such, this award encourages me to continue to put in as much effort as I possibly can to attain my goals and dreams. It gives me the confidence that you can’t buy, but support can build.I hope The First Tee continues to support children and the community for many years to come. We are all great examples of the great things that this program has to offer. As we pursue our future, the next generation of fellow leaders continue to prove the value of The First Tee and the opportunities that arise from the program.
Zaria Rouse – Girls In Golf Scholarship
When I think of what First Tee has meant to me, I came up with an acronym using the word HOPE.
H is for help. First Tee helped me learn the game of golf. When I started at the age of 8 with my kids golf clubs and pink golf bag, I never could have imagined that this would help me play on my high school golf team one day.
O is for opportunity. First Tee gave me an opportunity to expand my thinking of what my small mind thought was impossible. I found an opportunity to try something new that would later prove the importance of ceasing the moment in every opportunity because you never know what good will come out of it.
P (to no surprise) is perseverance. First Tee taught me early through the game of golf that I would have some good rounds and some bad rounds. However, if I would stick with it and keep working at it, the hard work would pay off. This was not just a lesson in golf but a life lesson for everything I do.
E is for equality. First Tee makes the game of golf available and affordable for every child regardless of gender, ethnicity or family income. I’m an example of a child who wanted to play and First Tee made away.
With this scholarship, I plan to pursue a degree in Business Administration at a 4 year university as I believe it will open up many career paths. Also, I will make it my mission to encourage and introduce the game of golf to other young girls who look like me and may not realize if they believe it they can achieve it.
Maddie Franklin – Injury Finance Scholarship
This scholarship will help me pursue my passion of being a teacher and working with kids on a professional level as I hope to be attending either a small college in Holland Michigan called Hope College to study education or Colorado Christian University. With this scholarship I’ll spend less money and time on my tuition and more on educating the next generation. Thank you!
Garrett Wood – Ralph L. Smith Foundation Scholarship
It is difficult to put into words how much receiving a scholarship through The First Tee of Denver means to me, since I never could have imagined this organization becoming such an important part of my life. I did not grow up around the game of golf; soccer was my sport. I had been fully committed to soccer for nearly ten years, but after suffering a second concussion, the doctors recommended that it was time for me to leave the game behind. This news was extremely heartbreaking—a decade of training seemingly wasted. I have always been very passionate about sports, so I did not want this setback to keep me from being an athlete. The First Tee of Denver gave me a second chance. When I was introduced to golf by The First Tee, I never knew that such a simple game could have a profound impact. From learning the fundamentals in Advanced Birdie class with Nick Johnson, to gaining tournament experience in Players’ Club under my high school golf coach Tom White, to teaching young golfers as a junior coach alongside Arri Estrada, The First Tee has opened many doors of growth for me through my five years of involvement. The First Tee not only improved my golf skills, but also cultivated a knowledge and respect for the game through the Nine Core Values. These values are engraved in my character and guide my actions in daily life. I would describe my experience with The First Tee as the best possible combination of formation in golf and character. This formation recently came full circle for me. It was my brother who ended up proudly holding the Soccer State Championship trophy above his head, but I lived my own dream when I qualified for the State Championship Golf Tournament and was voted Metro League Senior of the Year during my high school golf career. The next step in my life will be to head off to college next fall. I plan to study actuarial science because it combines my love for mathematics and business. I will also continue to play golf at the club level. Receiving this scholarship from The First Tee will allow me to pursue these goals in college. Ultimately, this next chapter in my life may come with some challenges, but I firmly believe that attending with the support of a scholarship from The First Tee will serve as a reminder to live the Nine Core Values which I have been taught. I would like to thank The First Tee Scholarship Committee and the Ralph L. Smith Foundation for their tremendous generosity. This organization has blessed my life in so many ways, and I know that this scholarship is not the end of my journey with The First Tee of Denver, but only the beginning.
Lauren Doyle – Wellshire Golf Community Scholarship
The First Tee of Denver has been like a second family to me. It has not only given me some of my best friends, but also some of the most amazing coaches and role models. I started taking classes with my sister when I was in third grade at Wellshire. I met kids from all over Denver, started developing social skills, and an understanding of the nine core values. Players’ Club is where I met Coach Ron. Even in 6th grade I could tell that he was an incredible coach who was going to impact my golf game, but I didn’t realize how much he would influence my life. Players’ Club is also where I met my best friend, Paige. She has made my experience with The First Tee unforgettable and I know that we will be lifelong friends. The First Tee has had such a positive impact on my life, which makes receiving this scholarship even more meaningful to me. It will allow me to attend a university where I can pursue my interest to study engineering. I’m forever grateful for the impact The First Tee of Denver has had on my life.