The First Tee of Howard County

Which of The First Tee Nine Core Values has helped you the most on your personal journey to become a better student, citizen, golfer or better prepared for life?

As I have progressed through my life on and off the golf course, the nine core values are what molded me into the person I am today. Perseverance, confidence, and responsibility were the most significant values in my development. Life includes those many obstacles that may be hard to overcome; that is where perseverance comes in. When I’d put effort into winning tournaments and getting good grades in school, I would always achieve my goals. School–including SAT preparation–became more time-consuming and stressful; I was taking several AP classes while trying to refine my reading comprehension skills and review math skills from classes I took years ago. At first, this was an adjustment. I seemed to have less time for golf practice. However, after prioritizing, I was able to schedule my time carefully so that I could accomplish everything that had to be done. Next, developing confidence has helped me tremendously. When I was a kid, my dad always told me never to be afraid to ask questions. For example, when I was a young child, at restaurants, my father always insisted that I order the meals. Having the confidence to speak up, ask for what I wanted, and ask questions when necessary has enabled me to succeed in difficult classes and stay focused through challenging golf tournaments. Finally, having a sense of responsibility has kept me organized and accountable. If I commit to doing something, I complete the task to the absolute best of my ability. Undoubtedly, internalizing all nine core values has impacted my life in a positive way, but perseverance, confidence, and responsibility have become second nature; without them, I could not have achieved success as a student athlete.

Which core value have you employed to help someone else achieve their goals?

The core value I have implemented to help my friends would definitely be perseverance. Junior year has been very challenging and difficult due to SAT exams, and college preparations. These obstacles have taken a toll on some of my classmates. So, I have provided guidance and moral support by telling them to believe in themselves and to never give up. Additionally, I have also counseled many junior golfers to “stay the course”, and to focus on their game. What separates me from most people is I will always take the time to help and care for someone in need of assistance.

Identify a lesson that you have learned from a mentor, peer or role model that you have translated into your daily life.

The biggest role model in my life has always been my dad. Through the ups and downs of my upbringing, he has always been there for me by giving me ample opportunity in every aspect from golf, school, to everyday life. As a kid, one of the first things he taught me was to respect everyone you meet, especially elders. When introduced to elders, I would always say “sir” or “ma’am”, and use a firm handshake. This act of kindness shows respect. I would also show respect on the golf course by fixing ball marks, raking bunkers, and fixing divots. I believe that showing respect in this way will also gardner respect from others.