Twenty-Five Southland juniors were recently chosen by the SCGA Foundation to receive financial support while continuing their education in college or vocational school. This year, $80,000 will be distributed to these students for tuition, room and board and educational supplies. Among those receiving funding is Dave Yambao, a member of Tiger Woods Learning Center.
Yambao didn't take up golf as early as many of the juniors in the SCGA Foundation's programs, partially because he was busy swimming. However, swimming was something he had taken up to follow in his older brother's footsteps, and while in high school decided he wanted to pursue a passion of his own.
After a couple of family members and friends suggested golf, because, as Yambao says, "they saw I was the type of person who likes to think and problem solve," the high school sophomore began getting out on the course.
"Golf is difficult, so when I first started improving after I initially started it was such a great feeling knowing that the amount of hard work I put in directly determined how much progress I made," said Yambao.
Since then, Yambao has fallen in love with the game, especially appreciating the different types of people the game has introduced him to and the camaraderie that can be built.
"One of my favorite things about golf is playing with friends out on the course and talking about anything - school, work or whatever."
Having fun out on the course is important to Yambao, so it made sense when he mentioned his favorite comedian, Gabriel Iglesias, when asked who his dream golf foursome would be. "I like to laugh, so playing a round with him would make it so much more fun!" he said. Also included in Yambao's dream foursome? "Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Tiger because it is his Foundation and Learning Center that has helped me become a better person and golfer, and Mickelson because I'd want to learn some tips from the world's greatest short game player!"
As Yambao gets ready to attend Irvine Valley College as a freshman in the fall, it's no surprise that he hopes to join its golf team. But while at school, his education will be the top priority, and he plans to major in either Biology or Nursing, as math and science have always been a passion of his.
"I want to get into Nursing or some other profession in the health care field because I have the drive to always help anyone when they need it, and with a profession like that I'll actually be able to accomplish that on a regular basis."
But for Yambao, it seems to come full circle. It was his time at the Tiger Woods Learning Center and out on the golf course that helped him become the type of person who has that passion for helping others.
"It is the values of integrity, hard work and commitment that I have learned from being a student at TWLC and the game of golf that have instilled in me the key values that will surely guide me through life."
Click here to meet the other 24 juniors chosen for Yambao's scholarship class of 2012-13.