Education Sports

Local First Tee Teens Selected for National Opportunities

Five local teens from The First Tee of Greater New Orleans program have been selected to participate in four upcoming national junior golf programs. Sophie Chevis, 14, Taylor Collins, 15, Karrington Knight, 17, Camille Simon, 17, and Julia Simon, 16, were each selected to participate in national junior golf events that will take place at various locations across the country this summer.

Chevis and Collins were two of 24 teens selected to participate in the inaugural USGA “Learning Science Through Golf” STEM Academy, which will take place July 9-13, 2017 at the USGA Golf House in Far Hills, NJ. The teens will experience hands-on access to the USGA Research & Test Center, a facility that houses both specialized golf club and ball testing equipment. Participants will learn from industry experts whose work is focused on understanding the game’s technology and new equipment’s potential effect upon the game.

Knight was selected to attend two national events – The First Tee Par-3 Championship, which will take place June 13-18, 2017 in Richmond, VA and the John Deere Drive Your Future Academy, taking place June 19-22, 2017 in Atlanta, GA at Georgia State University & East Lake Golf Club.

Knight is one of 32 participants from across the country selected to compete in The First Tee Par-3 Championship, which is a 36-hole individual stroke play golf competition held at the exclusive The Kanawha Club. At the conclusion of the 36 holes, a boy and girl Par-3 champion will be determined.

Knight was also one of 24 girls selected for the John Deere Drive Your Future Academy, which will focus on leadership development, learning the value/impact of volunteerism, and recognizing the importance of teamwork. In addition, one girl selected for the Academy will be chosen to receive a $5,000 college scholarship plus the opportunity to be a VIP guest and pro-am participant at the John Deere Classic in July.

Camille Simon, a recent graduate of Ben Franklin HS, was selected to participate in The First Tee Scholars Program – a distinction awarded to First Tee participants who excel in academics, leadership, character development, and chapter and community involvement. Camille recently accepted a scholarship to attend Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where she’ll play collegiate golf for the Claremont Mudd Scripps Athenas this fall.

Since launching The First Tee Scholars Program in 2003, The First Tee has designated over 700 participants as The First Tee Scholars, including 82 high school seniors who earned The First Tee Scholar – Class of 2016-17 designation.  Through generous donors, The First Tee has funded over 100 college scholarships worth more than $1 million since the program began.

Camille’s younger sister, Julia Simon, was selected to attend the College Golf Prep Academy, which will take place July 11-18, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida at Keiser University. The week-long academy is intended for advanced players who are pursuing collegiate golf. The academy provides the competitive experience of playing for a college golf team combined with the college experience through rigorous practice and training, tournament play, dorm living, recruiting education and pertinent guest speakers.

“The First Tee program emphasizes the importance of transferring the life skills, core values and healthy habits that our coaches teach on the golf course to the student’s school and personal life,” said Chip Patterson, executive director of The First Tee of Greater New Orleans. “We’re proud to recognize these five young ladies, as they’ve each excelled in academics, leadership and community involvement, and we look forward to watching them participate in these fantastic national opportunities this summer.”

To learn more about The First Tee of Greater New Orleans’ programs, visit The program is open to any youth between the ages of 5 and 18 and need-based scholarships are available for those who qualify. The First Tee’s summer program registration is now open on their website and programs will begin the week of June 5th at nine local golf facilities.

About the author

The West Bank Beacon

The West Bank Beacon is a local monthly publication with a mailed circulation of over 15,000 and thousands more distributed at points from Gretna to Grand Isle, the Beacon tells the story of a thriving community. A “good news” newspaper, our mission is to make readers aware of how both individuals and groups are making a positive difference in the neighborhoods where they live. This includes a focus on civic and city initiatives, volunteer efforts, and charity fundraisers, to name just a few examples.

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