Meet the Scholars

2009 SCGA Youth on Course Scholars

SCGA Youth on Course Scholarship Program is designed to help youth continue their education in college or vocational school. This year, $110,000 will be distributed to 34 students for tuition, room and board, and educational supplies.

Meet the 2009 Scholars

Brandon Batiste

Gardena High School

* Major: Civil Engineering
* Career Goal: Masters in Civil Engineering
* Junior Golf Program: The First Tee of South Los Angeles
* Leadership and community service: Junior mentor with the First Tee of  South Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. 
In His Own Words:
 "I love golf. It helps me through the daily challenges in life. It takes me to another peace of mind, especially if there’s stress." "The golf course is the only quiet place I have to get my focus back." "Golf has taught me to be a leader. If you’re a leader, you can take on anything thrown at you."

Brent Edelman

Paso Robles High School

* Major: Aerospace Engineering
* Career Goal: Earn a degree in Aerospace Engineering from MIT
* Junior Golf Program: The First Tee of the Central Coast
* Higher Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology   
In His Own Words:
"I have learned from golf that many things in life are difficult and that I should treasure the things that I excel in and work harder with the things that I find challenging.""Golf has given me an activity, through The First Tee, that is not only fun, but has taught me many valuable life lessons and provided me with many new friends and opportunities. The First Tee has given me incredible opportunities such as their golf and leadership academy which I traveled to Richmond, VA to attend and the Future Leaders Forum at Disney World."

Michelle Hoefker

San Luis Obispo High School

* Major: Business, focus on Marketing
* Career Goal: Study business management while earning a BA
* Junior Golf Program: The First Tee of the Central Coast
* Higher Education: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
In Her Own Words:
"The First Tee has played a major role in my growth and now that I prepare to set off into my future, I feel that I can apply the life lessons I learned in that program." "I feel that through all the good experiences I have had in golf, I have been able to grow as an individual and blossom as a person."

Gary Nelson Jr.

Mt. San Jacinto

* Career Goal: To become a physical education Junior Golf Program
* Grandfathers for Golf
In His Own Words:
"I love teaching and I love golf. There is nothing else that makes me happier than teaching someone and they get what you are teaching them. That really puts a smile on my face!"  "Every time I pick up a club, I see my future, my five year plan which is finishing school and becoming a teaching pro." "I began golf when I was ten, just hitting balls in the backyard of my grandfather’s house in Sacramento."

Cameron Scott

University of California, San Diego

* Junior Golf Program: Pro Kids Golf Academy
* Major: Business, focus on Marketing
* Career Goals: To graduate from UCSD in the field of Visual Art Media
In His Own Words:
"With the help of the pros (at Pro Kids Golf) I had the confidence and skills necessary to shoot for the high school golf team. Tryouts came and thanks to Pro Kids I got a spot on the team. For the next three years I participated in almost every one of my high school’s golf tournaments." “It is not just the knowledge I have gained in school that will accompany me throughout my future but the life-long lessons I have learned from the game of golf."

Mark Taylor

San Diego State University

* Junior Golf Program:Pro Kids Golf Academy
* Major: Kinesiology
* Career Goal: To Major in Kinesiology 
In His Own Words:
"My father was the first to introduce to the game of golf. He would take me to the range with him to learn how to play on a variety of golf courses. Now because of my father, I enjoy playing 18-holes against my  dad and my little sister who is now learning how to play golf at Colina Park in San Diego." “As a recipient of this award, I will take full responsibility of this opportunity and will make sure that I stay focused in my studies of becoming a physical therapist. A major reason why I chose the Kinesiology major is to educate, help, and inform others concerning sports and sports injuries."

Jose Valdez

Fullerton Community College

* Junior Golf Program: Tiger Woods Learning Center
* Major: Civil Engineering
* Career Goal: To major in civil engineering 
In His Own Words:
"I was so intrigued by the sport that I would spend hours on the putting green and the driving range. I have learned a lot from the game. I relate it to my life in many ways." "In golf we all make bad shots and in life we make mistakes. It’s all about learning from the mistake and moving forward to make the next shot better." "I’m so proud to say that I’m the only one in my family to graduate from high school and the only one to ever think to attend college."