The First Tee of Greater New Orleans

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?

There were times when I seriously thought of giving up golf altogether. Choosing to participate in First Tee events or golf practice while turning down invitations to go have fun with friends or family, to go practice.

Perseverance has taught me to stay positive and live with my eyes wide open for new opportunities when dedicating most of my time and energy to school and golf. This attitude is imperative to becoming successful in life, and I am grateful to the First Tee Program for helping me see this. With the demands of a college prep high school and dedicating myself to being First Tee Participant / Golfer, I have lost a lot of time with friends and family.

Overtime, I now see that dedicating myself to be a good student, person, and work hard at golf has been the best decision I have ever made. My time commitments and hard work has brought new “Golf” friends into my life and my family supports me more than ever. It is easy for me to say that Perseverance has made me a better person, student, golfer, and has prepared me for real-life situations.

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

Recently I used the Core Value “Responsibility” to help a good friend in school. She was in jeopardy of having to attend summer school due to having poor grades in world geography class, the toughest class in freshman year. She was even forced to drop out of all extra circular activities in or outside of school. With complicated family life and struggling to make friends, studying became exceedingly time consuming and difficult to complete.

After seeing her so upset and miserable, I felt responsible to help as a friend. After a pep-talk and asking how she was studying and preparing for classes, I realized she was not well organized and that made it hard to be responsible for getting good grades. We worked together on how to make and use graphic organizers; as well as quizzing each other in the evenings. Also, I showed her tips and strategies on how to study efficiently and encouraged her to not stay on her phone during the night. After a month of hard work, her grades skyrocketed. She now takes responsibility of her studies. It was great to feel responsible and see my friend get some much better and take responsibility.

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

When I first started playing golf 3 years ago if I hit one bad shot on the course it was frustrating, and I wanted to go home. At 11 years old It was embarrassing to see the 8-year-old participants that were better than me. I was so hard on myself, even when I would shoot a decent round, but someone had a better score than me, then I was not happy. Over the summer, I was asked to play with three coaches one afternoon. During the round one of the coaches told me I was way too hard on myself. She said that it takes 8 years to reach a decent level of golf and that my progress was great. Since I had been given the same critique before I shook off her advice. Later, I remembered what she said, and it really struck me that she was right.

In order to play well, I need to not focus on the last shot, but on the next one. I need to not focus on the last test, but the next one. I need to not focus on what’s in the past, but what the future holds for me.