Meet the Scholars

2011 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, $136,000 will be distributed to 37 students for tuition, room and board, and educational supplies.

Congratulations to the class of 2015!

Sharon Don, California State University, Fullerton
Desiree Dominguez, California State University, Fullerton
Wally Gonzalez, University of Hartford
Ryan Herd, California State University, Northridge
Grisel Medina, Chapman University
Madilena Mendiola, Mount Holyoke College
Eduardo Munoz, Allegheny College
Eduardo Rivas, Lewis & Clark College
Titus Wu, University of Southern California

Meet the 2013 Scholars

Reece Akana

Junior, Harvard University

Reece is attending Harvard University and is majoring in chemical and physical biology with a minor in music. He hopes to pursue a career in cancer research or radiology on day. Reece spends his free time volunteering with a group called Music in Hospitals and Nursing Homes Using Entertainment as Therapy (MIHNUET) where he leads a small group of musicians to perform to patients at local hospitals or nursing homes. MIHNUET’s focus this semester is playing music to the children in the psychiatric ward of Boston Children’s Hospital. His proudest achievement to date is conducting a cancer study in his school lab with zebrafish on the formation of tumors.

Carolane Gariepy

Junior, California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo

Carolane decided to switch her major from mechanical engineering to business administration. With her golf coach’s support, Carolane took a break from golf to focus on philanthropy and joined the Alpha Phi Epsilon Chi, a sorority that focuses on philanthropy through cardiac care. Carolane also volunteers her time with SCGA Youth on Course, participating in the annual Member Junior Shootout and attending a Play Day at Sherwood Country Club.

Karentessa Gordon

Junior, University of Redlands

Kari is attending the University of Redlands with her twin sister Raquel and is majoring in financial economics with a minor in accounting. She is a member of the women’s golf team and continues to work hard to improve her game. She thanks SCGA Youth on Course for opportunities provided. “It has been a blessing to have support from the SCGA as I continue my education.”

Raquel Gordon

Junior, University of Redlands

Similar to her sister, Raquel is majoring in financial economics and is a member of the women’s golf team at the University of Redlands. She was awarded SCIAC Freshman of the Year and WGCA All-American Scholar this season. Raquel also received a Student Work Award, which has allowed her to be a grader for a section of integrated calculus. She's active in her community by participating in SCGA Youth on Course events as well as volunteering at Suva Elementary School, doing art projects and helping the kids plan their Spring Show.

Sachi Hamada

Junior, California State University, Long Beach

Sachi is a member of the Cal State Long Beach women’s golf team and is working towards a degree in graphic design. She is an active volunteer with SCGA Youth on Course, participating in the annual Golf Marathon and helping out at the instruction equipment day. Sachi hopes to one day share her golf experiences as a coach.

Savannah Knox

Junior, California State University, Long Beach

Savannah is working on a degree in business marketing, aiming for a position on a marketing team for a golf company. After redshirting, Savannah had a strong first year on the women’s golf team, earning Big West Freshman of the Year honors. She had her first collegiate top-5 finish at the Long Beach State-hosted Gold Rush tournament, in which the team placed first. Savannah also participates in SCGA Youth on Course events throughout the year, specifically enjoying Play Days where she gets to play alongside a member of a country club. Click here to read more about Savannah in our In The Spotlight series, which share stories of SCGA Youth on Course junior golfers, from small improvements to great feats both on and off the golf course

Torrey Muñoz

Junior, Palomar College/UC Santa Barbara

Torrey will be transferring to UCSB this fall after completing his associate’s degree at Palomar Colelge. He chose to major in geography, which is a subject he is very passionate about. He loves Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and plans to work for the government one day. Torrey will spend his summer interning for Orca Maritime, an underwater mapping company, that will help him complete his certificate of proficiency in GIS. He’s an avid volunteer, volunteering with SCGA Youth on Course, Future Champions Golf and Build a Miracle. Torrey was honored as the 2013 SCGA Youth on Course Scholar Volunteer of the Year.

Sathya Peri

Junior, Bentley University

Since high school, Sathya has always been very passionate about trading and became known as the kid who traded stocks during class. His goal is to join a super angel venture firm after college and will spend his summer in Chattanooga, TN, interning for one. He has developed a growth hacking strategy on Twitter and is now helping startups at Harvard Business School and Princeton.

Said Shaba

Junior, UC Berkeley

Through his own life experiences on and off the golf course, Said now shares life lessons at a local elementary school where he mentors fifth graders. With intense passion for governmental affairs, he is a member and officer of The Horn of Africa Association on campus and has previous experience assisting a UC faculty member run for City Council in Oakland.

Alec Spencer

Junior, University of La Verne

Alec is majoring in business administration with a minor in organizational leadership. Preparing for a busy golf season, Alec enrolled in 19 units in the fall to provide extra time to focus on his game. He’s an avid participant with SCGA Youth on Course, attending and volunteering at various events, including Club Outings and the annual SCGA Youth on Course Tournament. Alec is also the founder of the Terry Spencer Memorial Golf Tournament, an event dedicated to his late father. He hopes to stay within the golf world after he graduates and potentially attend the University of Michigan for graduate school. Read about his journey in FORE magazine here.

Eugene Yang

Junior, UC Berkeley

With an anticipated degree in economics, Eugene tackled a very tough school year in the fall of 2014. He gives back to the Berkeley elder community by taking a class that offers assistance to these members, including activities like yoga. Eugene credits SCGA Youth on Course for allowing him to grow his skills within the game of golf and reinforcing the values that have made him the person he is today.

Meet the 2013 Returning Scholars

Scott Coonis

Sophomore, Santa Barbara Community College

Scott has just completed his first year at SBCC. In the near future, he is planning to transfer to University of California, Irvine and study Video Game Design. He hopes to focus his efforts specifically in the field of Creative Development. Coonis, who has overcome many obstacles in his life, has shown that he has been able to succeed despite life’s challenges. “I want to thank SCGA Youth on Course for awarding me a scholarship. The generosity has taught me to always believe in myself and to aim high.”

Desiree Dominguez

Senior, California State University, Fullerton

Desi will be transferring to Cal State Fullerton in the fall where she will be majoring in Criminal Justice. Desi was introduced to golf through the Tiger Woods Learning Center her freshman year of high school. She feels that golf has taught her many things including patience, self-improvement, manners and discipline. An active volunteer with SCGA Youth on Course, Desi says, “Volunteering is one of the best things a person can do in life.” Desi has now started to work at the Pico Rivera Golf Course helping with the new Youth on Course instruction program there.

Sharon Don

Senior, California State University, Fullerton

Sharon is majoring in Advertising and enjoys writing, acting and graphic design. She wants to pursue a career as a creative director. As a past participant and current volunteer for the Tiger Woods Learning Center, she credits TWLC for “fueling her interests.” By getting involved in the Computer Clubhouse, she has built her skills in graphic designing. In addition to working with the Tiger Woods Learning Center and volunteering at the SCGA and Friendship Circle, Sharon completed her first 5K this year while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA and earning Honorable Mention for her commercial entry in the “Why Soda Sucks” campaign.

Long Duong

Sophomore, UC Santa Cruz

Long is attending University of California, Santa Cruz where he is majoring in Business Management Economics. He has been a member of the Pro Kids Academy in San Diego since the 7th grade and was drawn in when a member of its staff spoke at his middle school. “Seeing him hit a chip from 30 yards away into the hole amazed my friend and I. It was an amazing shot that got me hooked on golf.” Along with playing golf, he is also a four-year varsity tennis player and was team captain. While in college he has joined many clubs and is running to be a Vice President of Administration for Circle K International. 

Wally Gonzalez

Senior, University of Hartford, Livingston Foundation Scholar

Wally is majoring in Business Management while also playing for the Hartford Hawks golf team. He competed in 11 tournaments as a freshman and placed third in the Connecticut Cup Tournament in October. In addition to school and golf, he volunteered with the First Tee of Connecticut to teach kids about the game he loves and the life skills that it can teach. He hopes that after graduation he can open his own golf business. He said, “I want to do this because I want to be close to the game of golf, which I am so passionate about.”

Andrea Granados

Sophomore, Fullerton College

Andrea is attending Fullerton College and playing on the golf team. She is an active member of the Tiger Woods Learning Center and when asked about the effect it has had on her, she said “It was the most important day of my life when I entered the building in 2008 … I felt very comfortable and knew it was an amazing place.” Andrea was a four-year golfer in high school, where her team won the Orange League championship twice and played in the C.I.F. Championship three times. She explained that golf has taught her “respect, integrity, honor and character” and has had a strong impact on the person she is today.  Andrea continues to volunteer at the Tiger Woods Learning Center, SCGA, and her old elementary school. 

Kristin Grimes

Junior, Southern Illinois University

Kristin has transferred to Southern Illinois University (SIU) and is the first African American to compete on their women’s golf team. She plans to major in Global Management (International Business Management) and is in the process of applying for internships and study abroad programs. She says, “with the skills I have learned from my family, golf and teachers, I will be able to succeed in my chosen field of study." She has been playing golf since 2002 and says golf was a “family sport.” She has also been a participant in the First Tee of South Los Angeles since 2003, where she feels that “golf has helped her through everyday challenges, shaped her into a respectable young woman and given her the acknowledgement that she can accomplish anything.”

Alma Gutierrez

Senior, California State University, Fullerton

Alma is majoring in Anthropology, with a focus on Cultural Anthropology. Alma will be spending her last semester in college studying abroad in Italy through the Academic Programs International. Her goals after school are to join the Peace Corps and eventually earn her Doctorate in Anthropology, focusing on globalization. “I want to change the world into a better place and the SCGA is helping me do that by giving me a chance to attend college," she says. Even while being in school, she still continues her work with the Tiger Woods Learning Center. When asked about her passion for working at Tiger Woods Learning Center, she explained that, “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 their students.

Ryan Herd

Senior, California State University, Northridge

Ryan is graduating from Cypress College with an Associate’s degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences and will be transferring to Cal State Northridge in the fall. Ryan has volunteered in many of the SCGA events such as the fundraiser at Wilshire Country Club and kickoff at Pico Rivera Golf Course. He explained about his involvement in golf and SCGA Youth on Course that, “it has taught me how to take all my potential for the game and use it in good ways.”

Madilena Mendiola

Senior, Mount Holyoke College

During the fall semester, Madilena completed on Mount Holyoke College’s golf team where she earned Liberty League Player of the week four times while being co-captain. Outside of golf she was the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and she has joined the research group headed by Janice Hudgings, Chair of the Physics Department. She had declared her major as a Physic major and a philosophy minor. In regard to her future after graduation, she stated that, “I want to pursue a career in which I can contribute to the improvement of human life.” She was an active member of Pro Kids Golf from 2004 until 2011, where, in 2009, she was recognized as the All-Academic Athlete of the Year.

Grisel Medina

Senior, Chapman University

Livingston Foundation Scholar: Grisel is majoring in Psychology with an emphasis on counseling and minoring in Spanish. She says in her career statement that she “intends to dedicate myself in my career where I am able to benefit my surrounding community. I will work myself up and dedicate my time to be a psychologist and apply it to my everyday life, where I can also learn from others.” In the fall of 2013, Grisel is going to be studying abroad in Seville, Spain where she will be applying for an internship abroad as well as volunteering through many opportunities that the Spanish Studies Abroad has to offer. Grisel, who says she is a beginner in golf, is “aware of the traits that the game can build within me and it involves a lot of focus." In addition to her volunteer work with SCGA Youth on Course, she has worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim as a mentor.

Eduardo Muñoz

Senior, Allegheny College

Eduardo has studied abroad in Germany during fall 2012 where his entire curriculum was focused solely on the mastery of the German Language as well as German culture, modern history, art history, and politics. He is glad to be back taking science classes again and pursing his major in Biology. He is planning on taking the MCAT at the end of his third year in college and is going to enroll in Medical School after graduating. “I want to continue my pure love of science by continuing research in the manner I am doing so now and pursue other projects with other labs through these internships and hopefully the joint M.D./Ph.D. program.” Eduardo is a research assistant and volunteers regularly at the Meadville Medical Center through a program called the Patient Advocacy Program.

Kenneth Punyasavatsut

Senior, UC Irvine

Kenny is majoring in Nursing Science “in order to save the lives of many patients and have the chance to care for his parents." Kenny currently interns at the St. Francis Medical Center in the Surgery Department on a weekly basis. “As of today, I took an interest of becoming a RN in the Surgery Department after interning in here for the past nine months.” Kenny started playing golf when he was just five years old with the hope “to be like his sister." Since 2007, he has been involved with the Tiger Woods Learning Center, where he works every Saturday and is a frequent volunteer at many SCGA Youth on Course events. Most recently, he played in the 2012 Golf Marathon at Arcadia Golf Club, raising $1,275 for the scholarship program. He was also named this year’s SCGA Foundation Volunteer of the Year.

Roberto Rosas

Senior, Columbia University

Roberto is working towards his Economics degree and has just added Hispanic Studies as his second major to prepare for his semester abroad in Barcelona. He was introduced to golf though Pro Kids Golf Academy in San Diego. He said that, “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 is the first person to go to college in his family and was able to teach himself English in middle school. He says, “The one thing I know for certain is that I want to start my own business after graduate school, and to make an impact in Latin America.” He recently completed an internship at Macquarie Securities Group in New York and plans to work with Qualcomm this summer in San Diego.

Vivian Shoemaker

Senior, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Vivian will be transferring to University of Wisconsin at Whitewater where she will be competing on the golf team in the fall. So far she has earned two Associates degrees and played two very successful seasons of college golf at Mt. San Jacinto College. This past year she had found her passion of American Sign Language. “I fell in love last semester and that’s why I decided to become a Speech Pathologist.” She joined the MSJC ASL Club and attends Deaf Events quite regularly. In the future she is thinking about becoming an interpreter as a stepping stone career while she earns a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology. She has volunteered at multiple SCGA Foundation events, including the 2011 Golf Marathon, Mission Hills CC with Dr. Keenan Barber, and the Kickoff at Pico Rivera.

Eduardo Rivas

Senior, Lewis & Clark College

Eduardo is currently a double major, studying Psychology and Hispanic Studies. When asked about his future, he replied that he “hopes that throughout his years in college, he will grow to become a better leader, learner and thinker and apply what he learns to the goal of helping other people in need." Rivas has had an impact in his community through his many volunteer roles and says, “I care about my community because I feel comfortable living here, and I want to make a change so it can be a better place." Eduardo dedicates a lot of his time to a club called MOSAIC which stands for Multicultural Organization Seeking an Inclusive Community.

David Yambao

Junior, Irvine Valley College/UC Irvine

David recently transferred from Irvine Valley College to UC Irvine and plans to major in computer science through the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science. David has a passion for the game of golf and gives back by donating his time to the Vacation Bible School and volunteering at SCGA Youth on Course clinics. In addition to his studies, David works part-time at the Lake Forest Golf & Practice Center and assists with shows for N-Effect Productions, a company that specializes in entertainment production.

Titus Wu

Senior, USC

Titus has completed two years at Cypress College and transferred to USC in the spring of 2013 to study Business. He has been involved with the Tiger Woods Learning Center for four years and volunteers there to help students with homework and academic support. He was also a volunteer for this year’s Junior Blind Golf Clinic. Wu says this about golf: “In life, there are always obstacles blocking you from attaining your goals, and in golf, there is always a bunker before you reach the hole. You have to persevere through the obstacle and hope you can get the ball into the hole.”

Jorgeo Catolico

Senior, UC San Diego, SCGA Presidents Scholar

Jorgeo will graduate with a degree in cognitive science and hopes to continue his education by receiving a master’s degree. He is a member of the Filipino Club and an avid participant in the hip-hop dance community. Jorgeo remains an active member and volunteer for Pro Kids Academy in San Diego. Click here to read more about Jorgeo in FORE magazine.

Ezequiel Jauregui

Senior, UC San Diego

Ezequiel recently switched his major from neuroscience to chemical engineering and is now earning the highest grades in his collegiate career this past quarter. He gives back through the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, where he mentors high school students in San Diego aspiring to become engineers.

Elise Polk

Senior, UCLA

Elise plans to graduate from UCLA next spring with a major in international development studies. She changed her focus from biology to international development studies with hopes to teach English in underdeveloped countries. In preparation for her future career path, Elise is planning to study abroad in South Korea at Yonsei University this year. She spends her extra time with the on-campus group Intervarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship. Elise also interned with SCGA Youth on Course earlier this year.