Meet the Scholars

2010 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 2010 Scholars

Cameron Scott

Senior, University of California, San Diego

A scholar recipient since 2008, Scott is the first SCGA Foundation Scholar to fulfill graduation requirements and will be graduating from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Visual Media Arts. He was introduced to golf through Pro Kids Golf Academy in San Diego, where he still works while he is exploring his career opportunities. Last year, he held an internship with Groovy Like a Movie where he was able to gain experience in production and videography. He says, Now that I have successfully completed my college education I hope to continue my involvement with potential Pro Kids scholars by providing them with my current college perspective from which they can learn to better prepare for their own college experience.

Brent Edelman

Freshman, M.I.T.

Edelman, a freshman at M.I.T., is working toward a degree in Aerospace Engineering and is on track to graduate in four years. In his freshman year, he joined the club golf team where he traveled to Pinehurst for spring break and became a member of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity, which he says, “provides me with support both academically and socially.” He earned above a 3.0 and took classes such as Probabilistic System Analysis, Multivariable Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. He plans to travel back to the Central Coast this summer to volunteer with The First Tee and finish showing at the 4 –H state fair. In summary he says, “The experiences I am having at M.I.T. are beyond anything I could have imagined.”

Gary Nelson

, Mount San Jacinto College

Nelson currently attends Mount San Jacinto College and is working toward a degree in Kinesiology. He also works at Soboba Springs Golf Course and is a mentor for the younger junior golfers at Grandfathers for Golf, a golf and life skills program in Hemet. He would like to become a Physical Education teacher or start a program for children with special needs like himself. He says, “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!”

Mark Taylor

Sophomore , San Diego State University

Taylor, a sophomore at San Diego State University is planning to major in Kinesiology and hopes to become a Physical Therapist. First introduced to golf by his father, he later became a member of Pro Kids Golf Academy in San Diego, where he is still a volunteer assisting with fieldtrips, golf tournaments, and administrative support. When addressing his first year in college he shares, “I had to mature and realize that being a full time student isn’t just about fun and games. It’s about being on time to class, taking solid notes, reviewing those notes, preparing for the quizzes and exams, and being ready for any unplanned event. 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.”

Jose Valdez

, Fullerton Community College

Valdez, the SCGA Foundation’s first Scholar Ambassador was a keynote speaker at our annual golf tournament as well as the Oakmont G.A.M.E. Day. Valdez is pursuing an associate’s degree at Fullerton Community College while he works at the Tiger Woods Learning Center and is a tutor for the Anaheim School District through the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program at Fullerton College. His take on mentoring is, “Everyone needs someone to vent to. I can relate to them because I didn’t have that someone to vent to while growing up. I am that someone for them. I listen and show empathy. This keeps the students coming back.” He hopes to transfer to a four year university to pursue a career in Golf Course Water Management and is the first one in his family to graduate from high school and attend college.

William Chryar

Senior, Mira Costa High School

Chryar, a member of The First Tee of South Los Angeles and senior at Mira Costa High School, plans to attend the Arizona State University to earn a degree in business or economics. He played in his first golf tournament at the age of seven when he became involved in the Western States Golf Association. He is now a mentor for younger golfers at The First Tee of South Los Angeles and says, “Mentoring the younger generation is the best way I can think to give back to the community all that it has given me.” His ultimate dream would be to become a professional golfer and play on the PGA tour, but until that happens, he plans to pursue a degree in business so he “can earn an honest living in society.”

Raven Clewis

Senior, Cabrillo High School

Clewis is a senior at Cabrillo High School and will be attending Santa Monica College. She had to change schools for her senior year, but has “enjoyed the more rigorous classes at Cabrillo.” She intends to transfer to UCLA after two years to purse her degree in marketing and music. Clewis was introduced to golf when she was ten years old by The First Tee of South Los Angeles and says that golf has “helped keep me off of the streets and focused more on school.” Clewis was also recently a junior report at the Northern Trust Open, where she kept a daily blog about the tournament. Her personal goal is to “become a musician and major in business marketing to become a humanitarian, so that I can help millions around the world.”

Justin King

, Mount San Jacinto College

King is completing his associates degree at Mount San Jacinto College and will be attending the Professional Golfers Career College this fall to pursue his dream of becoming a golf professional. He has been honing his skills as an instructor for over two years as a volunteer with his former junior golf program, Grandfathers for Golf. His golf career started with Grandfathers for Golf in middle school and he continues to “love the game of golf during the birdies and the double bogies.” Justin’s favorite subject in school is history and he has a passion for the ancient world and military tactics. Justin hopes to “influence the next generation to feel the same amount of love for the game” that he has.

Wesley Levanduski

Senior, Paso Robles High School

Levanduski is a senior at Paso Robles High School and he will attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs next year to participate in the Professional Golf Management program. His goal is to one day be a head professional. In addition to his achievement of Eagle Level at The First Tee of the Central Coast, he is also an Eagle Scout and his community project was to collect, sort, and create junior golf sets for other youth in the program. In addition, he was able to garner additional community support to create plaques with each of The First Tee’s core values for their golf course. Levanduski also excels as a student and he is graduating high school with a 3.7 GPA.

Desiree Dominguez

Senior, Western High School in Anaheim

Dominguez, a graduating senior from Western High School in Anaheim, was introduced to golf though the Tiger Woods Learning Center her freshman year of high school. She is the captain of the varsity golf team and feels that golf has taught her many things including patience, self improvement, manners, and discipline. She says, “I think golf has made me a better person because it has made me try harder in school. If I don’t’ get good grades, then I cannot play golf.” Her academic goals include attending Fullerton College and then transferring to a Cal State school to pursue a career in Criminal Justice or Social Work. Her academic goal is to attend college and major in Criminal Justice to “help provide for her family.”

Alma Gutierrez

Senior, Western High School

Gutierrez, an employee at the Tiger Woods Learning Center and senior at Western High School, will be attending California State University at Fullerton in the fall. She plans to major in Political Science and minor in Communications and performing art with the goal of one day attending Whittier Law School. Gutierrez, who played golf for Western says, “I enjoy golf because it’s a great sport and it relieves stress.” About her job at Tiger Woods Learning Center, she says, “I am a role model to the students and that makes me feel good because some of those children do not have roles models they can look up to.” Alma is part of the TWLC Leadership Team and tutors for their students.

Ryan Herd

, Kennedy High School

Herd, a student at Kennedy High School in Buena Park and member of the Tiger Woods Learning Center, plans to attend Cypress College to major in history with a focus in U.S. History. He is a member of his high school golf team and he says, “Sports have always been a way for me to feel like a vital part of society. Along with the game of golf, the Tiger Woods Learning Center has taught me how to take all my potential for the game and use it in good ways. They taught me what it is like to give one hundred percent all the time and not just some of the time.” Ryan is considering a career as teacher and “wants to touch kids with knowledge the same way that most of my teachers have touched me.”

Thao Le

Junior, University of California at Los Angeles

Le, a junior at the University of California at Los Angeles, was introduced to golf through Pro Kids Golf Academy in San Diego when she became an intern at their golf course and the Learning Center. She found that golf networking has opened many doors for her including an internship with Qualcomm, Inc. for the last two summers. She is a sociology major who has a passion for making an impact in the community. She says, “My goal is to graduate and then come back to my neighborhood (City Heights) and hopefully influence kids who were just like me who grew up in a community where others doubt your abilities and question your intelligence. I want to be a mentor and encourage other kids to want more out of life the way Pro Kids has helped me. “

Kenneth Punyasavatsut

Senior, John F. Kennedy High School

Punyasavatsut, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, will be attending the University of California at Irvine. A member of the Tiger Woods Learning Center since 2007, he now volunteers as a supervisor for the junior golf program while also competing on his high school golf team. In addition, he has donated his time to the IRS’ VITA program to assist low income families in preparing their tax returns. A strong student, Punyasavatsut looks forward to college and plans to “save the lives of individuals and promote the knowledge he has learned to all youth.”

Roberto Rosas

Senior, Francis Park High School in San Diego

Rosas, a senior at Francis Park High School in San Diego, will be heading to Columbia University in the fall where he plans to earn a business degree. He was introduced to golf though Pro Kids Golf Academy in San Diego and says, “Becoming a part of the Pro Kids community was truly an amazing experience. Members looked far beyond racial difference and economic backgrounds because we were all tightly connected by a passion for golf.” He was the captain of his varsity golf team at Parker, will be the first to go to college in his family, taught himself English in middle school, and has a 4.22 GPA. He says, “My educational goal is to grasp a complete understanding of business and economics so I can enter the workforce after a four year college and then enter graduate school after having some experience in the field of business. “ He also hopes to provide support for his family through his education.

Reuben Torres

Senior, University of California at Davis

Torres is graduating from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science and will attend school at the University of California at Davis in the fall. Thanks to a class at Long Beach City College and further career exploration at his high school, he knows he wants to major in landscape architecture and “utilize the land to build energy efficient buildings.” As an avid golfer, Torres was able to qualify for The First Tee Walmart Open and played at Pebble Beach Golf Course, during which he shot better than his Championship Tour player partner. A multisport athlete, Torres also competed on the tennis, cross country, and basketball teams, but he will pursue golf full-time in college. In addition, he logged over 500 hours in high school as a volunteer for his junior golf program and other local community organizations.