- First Tee graduate Maleyna Gregorio is set to attend the University of California Riverside. (Courtesy of First Tee)
Twenty-five high school graduates have been selected to the First Tee College Scholarship Program. This is the largest class to date and a significant milestone as the youth development organization celebrates 25 years of helping young people build their strength of character through golf. The Scholars Class of 2022 includes aspiring physicians, computer scientists and lawyers, all of whom will be attending stand-out colleges and universities, including Harvard University, New York University and Columbia University.
Selected from a national pool of First Tee teens, the diverse group of Scholars – 15 young women and 10 young men – are from both urban and rural communities across the United States. Nine of the Scholars will play on their college’s golf team; several are heading into STEM, business, and medical fields; and many already have impressive plans for careers that will support underrepresented and underserved populations.
“I offer congratulations and a warm welcome to our Class of 2022 First Tee Scholars,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee. “With the support of our donors, we’re able to provide this ongoing support as they matriculate through college and prepare for future careers. These outstanding young leaders have bright futures ahead, and we believe the skills and values developed through First Tee will empower them throughout their collegiate journey and beyond.”
First Tee College Scholarship Program extends its impact to alumni by providing support throughout their post-graduate careers. Each of the Scholars is paired with a dedicated, trained adult mentor who will help encourage and guide them throughout their college experience, including virtual and in-person meetups. The program also provides professional development workshops held in-person throughout the year, and up to $5,000 per year toward tuition.
The program, which re-launched in 2020, is an evolution from the First Tee Scholars Program established in 2003. The program began after participant Steven Outlaw gave a moving speech in 2001 at the age of 16 and was provided an impromptu scholarship from a generous donor. Two years later, Outlaw graduated high school and was part of the inaugural First Tee Scholars Class. Since 2003, First Tee headquarters and its chapter network have awarded more than $15 million in college scholarships to alumni.
Applications for the Class of 2022 were received from participants across the First Tee network. Following an online application process, finalists were selected by a committee for one-on-one interviews. In addition to academic performance, applicants were considered based on financial need, chapter involvement, volunteerism, and other criteria.
First Tee College Scholarship Program is made possible by donors and corporate partners who stand behind the program and First Tee’s mission, including 3M, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Astros Golf Foundation, Brendan and Shay Cavanagh, Charles Schwab, Chevron Corporation, David and Geri Epstein Private Foundation, Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund, Edward and Lisa Vaughan, Jon Clay, Nelson and Michele Carbonell Family Foundation, Paul and Ruth Flowers, Peter A. Bonanni Scholarship Fund, PURE Insurance, Timothy W. Finchem Scholarship Fund, TruGreen, USSGA Memorial Fund, and Zotec Foundation.
First Tee College Scholarship Class of 2022:
Average GPA: 4.1 on a 4.0 scale
Average SAT score: 1,470 out of 1,600
Average ACT score: 31 out of 36
Breonna Boyd, First Tee — Tennessee
University of Michigan; Major: Business Administration
Breonna plans to start a nonprofit that will provide natural hair care products to African American girls who need them.
Nicholas Canales, First Tee — Greater Houston
University of Nebraska; Major: Political Science and History
Nicholas is a first-generation college student and will play on the men’s golf team.
Antonio DelCastillo, First Tee — Orange County
University of Alabama; Major: Pre-Med
Pursuing a career as either a neuro-orthopedic surgeon or anesthesiologist.
Srishti Dhurandhar, First Tee — Metropolitan New York
New York University; Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Srishti will play on the women’s golf team under the leadership of her former First Tee coach and NYU head coach, Katie Rudolph.
Vivian D’Orazi, First Tee — Metropolitan New York
York College of Pennsylvania; Major: Marketing; Minor: Hospitality Management
Vivian will play on the women’s golf team and aspires to work in the golf industry post-graduation.
Dylan Ebs, First Tee — Greater Austin
George Washington University; Major: Journalism
Dylan plans to pursue his goal of becoming a political reporter in Washington, D.C.
Esther Etherington, First Tee — Indiana
Franklin College; Major: Elementary Education
Esther will play on the women’s golf team and plans to later receive a Master’s degree in Special Education.
Maleyna Gregorio, First Tee — Coachella Valley
University of California Riverside; Major: Business
Maleyna will play on the women’s golf team and aspires to work in the golf industry.
Raiyan Johnson, First Tee — Savannah
Georgia Institute of Technology; Major: Astrophysics
Raiyan will pursue her goal to become an astrophysicist and ultimately an astronaut.
Lea Han, First Tee — Greater Sacramento
Harvard University; Major: History
Lea plans to become either an immigration or civil rights lawyer and pursue her passion for social justice.
Zara Karim, First Tee — Greater Washington, D.C.
George Washington University; Major: Computer Science
Graduating with 4.5 GPA, Zara aspires to become a computer scientist or software engineer.
Nelia Leong, First Tee — Upstate South Carolina
University of Florida; Major: Public Health
Nelia will be pursuing the pre-dentistry track with plans to use her degree to have her own pediatric dentistry practice.
Myles Manor, First Tee — Greater Washington, D.C.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Major: Chemistry
Myles has a desire to bring interest and awareness to STEM careers in his community.
Abigale Morris, First Tee — Phoenix
Biola University; Major: Cinematography
Abigale will play on the women’s golf team. She aspires to own a film company that provides film and media for nonprofits.
Hannah Newell, First Tee — Greater Houston
LeTourneau University; Major: Chemical Engineering
Hannah will play on the women’s golf team while working toward her goal of building a career in chemical engineering.
Sabrina Poole, First Tee — Greater Seattle
St. Martin’s University; Major: Psychology
Sabrina will play on the women’s golf team. Her future aspirations include helping high school and college student-athletes with mental and psychological struggles or crises as a clinical psychologist.
Nancy Rivera, First Tee — Silicon Valley
Middleburg College Vermont; Major: Pre-Med
Nancy wants to be the voice for Latinx families who have had limited representation in the medical field. She plans on becoming an OB-GYN.
Ahmad Raoul, First Tee — Greater Chicago
Winston-Salem State University; Major: Computer Science
While playing on the men’s golf team and majoring in computer science, Ahmad plans to leverage his STEM knowledge to further his passion for golf and improve his golf performance.
Daniel Sears, First Tee — Massachusetts
Franciscan University of Steubenville; Major: Philosophy and Finance
Daniel plans on a career in either real estate or law.
Connor Shooks, First Tee — Benton Harbor
Loyola University Chicago; Major: Sports Management
Connor aspires to either be an athletic trainer or physical therapist.
Kenneth Treece, First Tee — Pine Mountain
University of Alabama; Major: Aerospace Engineering and Political Science
Obtaining a 35 out of 36 on the ACT, Kenneth has plans to become a public defense attorney.
Alexa Vela, First Tee — Greater Houston
Rice University; Major: Psychology and Pre-Law
Alexa aspires to become a lawyer to grant the underrepresented the opportunity to recognize their constitutional rights and the powers granted to them by their government.
Jaylon Wilson, First Tee — Metro Atlanta
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Major: Finance
With plans to become a financial advisor, Jaylon aspires to serve the African American community through providing financial literacy, specifically to athletes and musicians.
Iris Xue, First Tee — Greater Washington, D.C.
Columbia University; Major: Computer Science and Engineering
Iris hopes to one day build artificial intelligence models that tackle healthcare challenges, such as disease modeling and disease prevention.
Jacob Zakaria, First Tee — Central Coast
University of California Berkeley; Major: Biology
Inspired by his father’s family being raised in a war-struck refugee camp in Lebanon without access to healthcare, Jacob plans on becoming a medical doctor.