The First Tee of Greater San Antonio

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?

Those who play or have a working understanding of the game of golf comprehend fully how it serves as the perfect microcosm of life itself; it’s demand for integrity, confidence, judgement, and perseverance reflect so many of the values that are imperative for success in any walk of life. The members of my high school varsity golf team, which I consider my “go-to team”, embody these values on a daily basis and serve as inspiration to pursue excellence within the realm of academics, athletics, and extracurriculars. As the captain of an esteemed golf program, I assume multiple responsibilities with the intent of enriching the team as a whole; my teammates’ receptiveness to constructive criticism, challenges, and meeting goals plays a key factor in our success both on and off the course. All of the extras that come with being a part of a high school golf team – the camaraderie, the cutthroat competition, the banter, and even the occasional arguments, have played an integral role in my development as a scholar athlete. The old adage that “hunger has to come from within” holds true to only a certain extent; I have had the good fortune to surround myself by like-minded, driven golfers that push each other forward by just being around one another, thus I have never had to search for inspiration within me – it surrounds me.

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?

Following the retirement of The First Tee of San Antonio’s Founder and Executive Director this past year, I spearheaded the creation of a Junior Advisory Board in order to give participants input regarding the direction and growth of the program in the coming years. The mantra for The First Tee of Greater San Antonio for this year is to increase participation among the teenage demographic, particularly during our weekend classes. The primary initiative I have taken to realize this goal has been creating and managing Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages on behalf of our Junior Advisory Board which cater to the interests of this age group by providing interactive, meaningful, and pertinent content in their social media feeds. In doing so, we have formalized our effort to reach out to young people in a concerted, planned manner, whereas previously our programs were advertised solely by word of mouth. I procure content from across the golf world and pop culture to pique the interest of young people while still promoting the life skills and core values taught through The First Tee curriculum. Additionally, I have worked alongside The First Tee of Greater San Antonio staff members to establish relationships with other local organizations, such as after school programs, Younglife, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and
collegiate golf programs to take part in partnered events to increase participation across all age groups. Our efforts over the past few months have yielded immense progress, as our program has now increased participation among the teenage demographic and established greater popularity among San Antonio’s youth. With my continued efforts alongside The First Tee of Greater San Antonio, I am confident that we can in fact exceed our goal and elevate our programs even further.

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 grandmother, who I still refer to affectionately as “my rock of Gibraltar”, has been a deeply instrumental role model for me, as she always encouraged me to bring the best out of myself and
others, to live my life through a lens of understanding, tolerance, and compassion, and to display resiliency in the face of adversity. My grandmother’s continued battle with cancer for seven years took an immense toll on her physical and mental health, however her always positive disposition and unconditional love for everyone around her served as an inspiration not only for myself but for the rest of my family as well. Her smile was simply contagious, and could turn anyone’s gloomy, rainy day in to a bright and sunny one.

My grandmother was most fortunate to be a product of an environment that extols ethnic, intellectual, and ideological diversity. This upbringing would uniquely prepare her to positively impact her respective community wherever life took her. She always took a keen interest in connecting with others by sharing with them her childhood experiences as an immigrant from halfway across the world and illuminating aspects of her culture. Given today’s social climate that has seemingly tainted the perception of people who come from certain parts of the world, I find myself inspired by my grandmother to uphold the moral goodness of her cultural background by exemplifying the same values of kinship, rapport, and empathy that were so dear to her to challenge the social construct of intolerance and dissent that persists today.