The First Tee of Howard County

Working with a “Go-To-Team” helps you become a better student, better citizen, better golfer, and better prepared for life. How has working with a “Go-To-Team” had a positive impact on one of these areas for you?

Working with a Go-To-Team of teachers, The First Tee coaches, and my family has positively impacted me and prepared me for my future. My teachers have taught me to persevere in difficult situations by having to face challenging teachers or subjects. Instead of backing down, this has taught me to keep persevering in hard situations. In the future, I will have to face others who do things differently, and facing these challenges has taught me to be able to cooperate with everyone even if it is not easy. My coaches have prepared me by teaching me how to be confident in my own abilities. When starting in The First Tee I had very low confidence, but now I have learned to be confident in my actions and not worry about the outcome whether on or off the course. My family has helped me by always telling me that I can do whatever I put my mind too. Most of all my family has prepared me for life by giving me infinite opportunities to explore my passions and freedom to pursue my own dreams.

Discuss a time you were part of someone’s “Go-To-Team.” How did you help them become better at achieving their goal or goals?

I have been a part of my sister Harper’s Go-To-Team for my entire life, but especially in this past year in deciding where she should attend college. My role in this process was providing someone to discuss the different colleges from a sister’s perspective. I know Harper as well as she knows herself, which became helpful in giving her ideas about which school would be her best option and give her the most opportunities. After visiting the schools, we would discuss the pros and cons of each school to provide her with ideas to think about in her decision. I couldn’t tell her which school to attend, but I could offer my opinions on the benefits of attending each school. One decision she had to make was whether or not she wanted to continue playing golf into college, which she decided she wanted to. I then helped her continue to improve her game by spending hours every day of summer practicing and competing. We would play whenever we could, no matter if it was in the heat of the day or seven in the morning. Together we prepared her for the rigor of college golf at her perfect school.

Tell us about a mentor or role model with whom you have built a quality relationship. How had this individual helped you achieve your personal goals?

My mentor is my golf coach, Jim Cavanaugh. Coach Jim has been my coach since I started The First Tee seven years ago but since I have been in the ACE program, he also has become my mentor. Coach Jim sets an example of what it means to be an extraordinary person. Most importantly Coach Jim has taught me how to be selfless and put others in front of yourself. Last year, at the Counties golf tournament I was incredibly nervous, being my first Counties as a freshman. Unfortunately Coach Jim was not going to attend because he had just had eye surgery and needed to rest. But, instead of resting, he came to the golf course to support me, putting my success over his comfort and recovery. Not only is Coach Jim supportive on the course, but also believes in our futures. He has gone out of his way to arrange various opportunities for us including a tour of the NSA Museum to inspire us to think about our futures. For me, Coach Jim is not just my mentor because he is my coach but because he shows me what it means to be an extraordinary person.