First Tee is partnering with PGA TOUR Superstore to host a first-of-its-kind, annual Leadership Summit August 2-13 at PGA TOUR Superstore Chairman and PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation Board Member Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana. Forty teenagers from across the country have been selected for the inaugural Summit. Two of the forty are going to be from First Tee – Silicon Valley. Congratulations to FTSV Ace participants, Jonathan Tessmann and Nancy Rivera for being selected!
The First Tee Leadership Summit is designed to strengthen the participants’ leadership skills through dynamic outdoor and team-building activities with the intended purpose of personal growth, education and coming together to make a difference. The robust curriculum explores concepts such as relationship building, positive risk taking, and identifying character strengths. Set in the unforgettable backdrop of West Creek Ranch in Montana, the teens will participate in outdoor activities such as fly fishing, yoga, meditation, horseback riding, archery, whitewater rafting and hiking, in which they will be encouraged to apply their learnings.
A former NFL player and motivational speaker will be a featured guest speaker along with leaders from PGA TOUR Superstore’s headquarters, including CEO and President Dick Sullivan. At the conclusion of the Summit, four students will be selected for the First Tee College Scholarship Program and will receive financial support as well as access to mentorship and professional development opportunities throughout their four-year collegiate experience.
To be eligible for the Summit, teens were required to participate in the five-week Leadership Series that was hosted at PGA TOUR Superstores across the country this past spring. Teens also completed applications and were selected based on character-driving criteria.
Jonathan, a Sophomore at Gilroy Early College Academy in Gilroy, has been in the First Tee – Silicon Valley program since 2012. In fact, he was part of the first ever First Tee participant group at Gavilan Golf Course in Gilroy. In addition to excelling as one of our participants, he has volunteered as a junior coach since 2017 and is one of our go-to coaches at Gilroy. He is also the Vice President of his school’s debate club.
Nancy, a rising Senior at University Preparatory Academy in San Jose, has been in the First Tee – Silicon Valley program since 2017. She has taken more classes than any other FTSV participant over the past 4 years, and has succeeded at each and every First Tee level. She is also ambitious in shaping and supporting her community. She is the President of her school’s Latinx club which puts on community service events and fundraisers rooted in community development and enhancement. Additionally, she volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, San Jose Litter Pick-Up, and cooks for and passes out food at a local homeless shelter.
“Both Jonathan and Nancy are outstanding and worthy recipients of the leadership summit opportunity,” says FTSV Program Director, Chris Moreno-Hunt. “They were standouts at our 5-part leadership series and are leaders both in their First Tee classes and in their communities. They have demonstrated a desire to give back as evident by their extensive volunteer engagements. We are proud of who they are, and how hard they work to make themselves and their community better.”
“This Summit will become a life-changing experience for the students to expand their horizons, meet new people and learn more about themselves,” said Dick Sullivan, President & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “It will be a memorable week for them to learn additional leadership skills and I am looking forward to being a part of this special event.”
“Congratulations to the 40 deserving teens selected for this inaugural event,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “It will be an inspiring week of learning and personal growth. We are grateful to Arthur Blank and PGA TOUR Superstore for supporting our mission as we work to empower the next generation through intentional and innovative opportunities like the First Tee Leadership Summit.”
For more than a decade, PGA TOUR Superstore and Mr. Blank have championed First Tee’s mission through charitable and in-kind donations across the country. In September 2020, PGA TOUR Superstore announced a new grant that will help First Tee reach more youth across the U.S. and strengthen its curriculum for teenage participants, including the development of the Leadership Series and Summit.
The Leadership Summit is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to inspire and equip teens on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. Congratulations Jonathan and Nancy on a well-deserved honor!