Two-week Summit empowers 40 teens to hone leadership skills and identify values while providing dynamic team activities such as whitewater rafting
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. and ATLANTA– The second-annual First Tee Leadership Summit in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore has kicked off at PGA TOUR Superstore Chairman and First Tee Board Member Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana.
First Tee, a youth development organization that helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, and PGA TOUR Superstore is once again holding the summit for 40 teenagers from across the country. Twenty of the selected youths have been participating in the first week from August 1-5, and 20 others will attend from August 8-12.
To start week one, the teens heard from Michael Vick via zoom on “The Power of Decision Making” as well as Lodge Grass Basketball Coach Josh Stewart on using sport as a vehicle for change.
The First Tee Leadership Summit is designed to strengthen leadership skills through dynamic outdoor and team-building activities with the intended purpose of personal growth, education and coming together to make a difference. Daily leadership themes include Building Authentic Relationships, Growing through Challenge, and Building Positive Self Identity.
Set in the unforgettable backdrop of West Creek Ranch, the Summit gives teens the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities including golf, fly fishing, yoga, meditation, horseback riding, archery, whitewater rafting and hiking. The teens are encouraged to apply their learnings through these activities for hands-on professional and personal development.
“As we begin the second-annual summit this week, we can already see the transformative experience taking place for these remarkable teens,” said Dick Sullivan, President & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “We are thankful to be a part of such a meaningful and impactful event for these motivated teenagers.”
“We honored to host this meaningful week for these participants who will learn skills to take with them for the rest of their lives,” added Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “PGA TOUR Superstore is supporting our mission and we thank Arthur Blank for his commitment to our country’s youth.”
Professional golfer Shasta Averyhardt will be featured the second week. Shasta is scheduled to speak about pursing your passion and understanding that while your journey may not be a straight path, to embrace the learnings along the way.
At the conclusion of the Summit, four students will be selected for the First Tee College Scholarship Program and will receive financial support as well as access to mentorship and professional development opportunities throughout their four-year collegiate experience.
To be eligible for the Summit, teens participated in a five-week Leadership Series that was hosted at PGA TOUR Superstore locations across the country this spring. Teens also completed applications and were selected based on character-driving criteria. The diverse group of selected participants – 24 young women and 16 young men – on average have spent seven years in the First Tee program and their average GPA is 3.85.
For more than a decade, PGA TOUR Superstore and Arthur Blank have championed First Tee’s mission through charitable and in-kind donations across the country. In September 2020, PGA TOUR Superstore announced a new grant that will help First Tee reach more youth across the U.S. and strengthen its curriculum for teenage participants, including the development of the Leadership Series, Summit and scholarships.
The Leadership Summit is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to inspire and equip teens on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.
Photos are available for download here.
FIRST TEE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS – AUGUST 1-5
Name First Tee Chapter
Braden Bernaldo First Tee — Coachella Valley (CA)
Anna Brown First Tee — Coastal Carolinas (NC)
Aidan Cervetti First Tee — Tampa Bay
Katelyn Chan First Tee — Silicon Valley (CA)
Myles Cobb First Tee — Greater Chicago
Matthew Cook First Tee — Metro Atlanta
Jacie Goodman First Tee — Florida Gold Coast
Maleyna Gregorio First Tee — Coachella Valley (CA)
Wesley Helmer First Tee — Greater San Antonio
Ava Hurtado First Tee — Greater Austin
Zara Karim First Tee — Greater Washington, DC
Carson Kawabata First Tee — Utah
Isabella Lohr First Tee — Greater Dallas
Jake Myre First Tee — Tucson
Victoria Ocampo Acosta First Tee — Orange County (CA)
Alanis Santiago Maldonado First Tee — North Florida
Ethan Selvers First Tee — Metropolitan New York
Anay Sigala First Tee — Fort Worth
Saloni Somia First Tee — Minnesota
Isabella Zamarron First Tee — Greater Houston
FIRST TEE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS – AUGUST 8-12
Name First Tee Chapter
Mahek Acharya First Tee — Greater Chicago
Dominic Clayton First Tee — North Florida
Eliana Damsgard First Tee — Minnesota
Saidah DaSilva First Tee — Massachusetts
Haady Elneser First Tee — Florida Gold Coast
Isabella Herrera First Tee — Silicon Valley (CA)
Kyzar Joshi First Tee — Massachusetts
Sarah Kohler First Tee — Metropolitan New York
James Labukas First Tee — Tucson
Joshua Lee First Tee — Greater Austin
Elise McGirt First Tee — Raritan Valley (NJ)
Gabriella G. Mercado First Tee — Orange County (CA)
Katherine Miskimen First Tee — Phoenix
Abi Newell First Tee — Greater Houston
Josephine Nguyen First Tee — Greater Washington, DC
Carson Platt First Tee — Coastal Carolinas (NC)
Jaylyn Remolona First Tee — San Francisco
Isabella Rubio First Tee — Florida Gold Coast
Jacob Ryan First Tee — Central Florida
Isaac Stewart First Tee — Central Ohio
About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”)
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. In 2022, First Tee celebrates its 25th anniversary and reaching millions of youth through its network of 150 chapters, 10,000 schools and 1,700 youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.
About PGA TOUR Superstore
PGA TOUR Superstore is operated by Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc., a subsidiary of AMB Sports and Entertainment and is headquartered in metro-Atlanta. As the PGA TOUR’s exclusive off-course/off-airport retail partner in North America, PGA TOUR Superstore provides customers with access to the same technology and expertise as card-carrying PGA TOUR pros. All stores are staffed with teaching professionals and have multiple state-of-the-art swing simulators, practice hitting bays, and large putting greens. There is also an in-house club making and repair facility. Along with equipment and accessories, PGA TOUR Superstore has an unmatched selection of men’s, women’s and juniors’ apparel and footwear for golf and tennis. For more information, visit www.pgatoursuperstore.com.
BZA PR on behalf of First Tee
Sara Henika, First Tee