It is safe to say that golf brought Roberto Rosas out of his shell. As an 11 year old, Rosas moved to San Diego from Tecate, Mexico to live with his mother, who had already spent six years in California working to support her six children back in Mexico. He didn't know English, which made the transition for the sixth grader tough.
"The move to the U.S. was nothing short of intimidating," said Rosas, pictured right with his mother. "I didn't speak the language, so I just quietly and shyly went about my business with my mom as my only support group."
Rosas, an SCGA Foundation scholar who now attends Columbia University in New York, shared his story Tuesday night to an audience of 145 at the 2nd Annual SCGA Foundation Scholar dinner, a night dedicated to honoring the Foundations scholars and their families. Rosas' speech highlighted the night.
"That's going to be a tough act to follow," said Pat Haden, USC director of athletics who was the keynote speaker for the event and spoke shortly after Rosas.
After spending a year in San Diego, Rosas was introduced to the First Tee of San Diego, where he was not only introduced to the game of golf, but also to a ton of kids his age. "I met kids from all walks of life," Rosas shared in his speech. "Some had very similar upbringings to mine. Either way, the game of golf afforded us a seamless opportunity to collaborate, compete and develop as young adults."
Rosas definitely took advantage of those opportunities, and is currently a junior at Columbia University who boasts an impressive 3.7 GPA.
"The SCGA foundation has allowed me to meet some incredible people that have believed in me and guided me along the way," Rosas continued. "To the donors, be assured that your contributions are being put to good use. You have made one of the world’s most expensive sports a reality for us scholars, and you will allow many of us to graduate from college debt-free. For that, I thank you."
Haden followed Rosas and talked about the importance of thinking before you speak. He alluded to Rosas' seemingly impressive ability to do that, and mentioned that many athletes at the collegiate level could learn to do that better. He went on to stress the importance of education, and commended these scholars for making it a priority.
"Education is crucial for discovering skills and passions you didn’t know you already possessed," he told the room.
The SCGA Foundation would like to thank The Livingston Family, Mimi and Phil Frengs, Patricia and Marc Myers and the SCGA for making the night possible.
To learn more about all of this year's scholars, click here.