The Joyce Taylor Eagle Award and $4,000 Scholarship was presented to Nancy Rivera at the First Tee – Silicon Valley 2020 Invitational fundraiser on Sunday, October 18th at CordeValle in San Martin, CA. Nancy was selected based on her good character, community advocacy, academic achievement, and life-skill level.
The purpose of the award is to provide a high school student the financial hope of attending college. For Nancy, she is hoping to be the first in her family to attend college and this award she says, plays a big role in making her dream that much closer to a reality. The scholarship has been made possible by a very generous 9-year grant by PG&E several years ago. Thank you to all our Invitational supporters that help fund our programs: HP, NGR, Anheuser Busch, PhRMA, Altria, Sempra Energy, AERA, Intuit, CALA Association, Southern CA Edison, SAGA Foundation, Niemela, Pappas & Associates and CDA.
Nancy has been a participant of First Tee – Silicon Valley since 2017, has completed all 4 projects at the Ace level, and has taken more classes since 2017 than any other participant. She is a student at University Preparatory Academy in San Jose, CA and she is working on a plan to attend a 4-year university or college in the Fall of 2022.
In her speech (below) to the Invitational attendees, Nancy stressed the importance of carrying on and embodying First Tee values of giving back, and respecting diversity. She said, “This sport and program is very different from all the other ones I tried out because it included a little bit of everything. Yes, they help my golf game, but it is so much more… I am proud to be part of a group that promotes respect and appreciating diversity and provides tools on how to help and think of others. Respect is a BIG part of our daily lives, especially living in the Bay Area where we have a diverse community. Learning collaborative communication strategies has been a key takeaway that I’ve learned in this program and carried with me in my volunteering. I’ve learned what it means to truly actively listen and how listening involves asking follow up questions to better understand the perspectives of others…Being able to listen, show empathy, and understand the rest of your team are definitely characteristics of being a good leader, which is what FTSV wants us to be and what I want to be.”
Her extensive community service and leadership actions certainly backed up her message to the audience. At each table she passed out hand drawn golf balls for each attendee. The drawing was of a woman’s silhouette made up of different national flags holding a heart that had the word “Respect” in the middle. After her speech she received a standing ovation.
Joyce Taylor (1957–2010) was a woman known for her intelligence, warmth, and elegance. She graduated with honors (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman, OK, with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. Joyce became a highly successful and respected business woman and community leader with a long career in telecommunications. In 1997, she was promoted to Regional President, Bay Area, and then Senior Vice President, External Affairs-Northern California, AT&T, where she oversaw legislative, governmental and external affairs activities in Northern California. Joyce worked extensively with Bay Area business and community-based organizations. Her support of the Eagles at Rancho del Pueblo junior golf program was instrumental to its growth and success. In 2005, the program became First Tee – Silicon Valley to develop the character of youth through golf throughout Santa Clara County. Joyce’s support has helped to build a solid program that has reached over 80,000 youth from 2005 to 2020.