My hope is that as you are reading this I’m snuggled away in my bed catching a few zzzz’s. Over the last six days Jamie Martin, our Program Director and I attended The First Tee Network Meetings in Dallas, Texas. The shuttle dropped me off at my door step about 2:00am this morning!
These meetings occur once every two years and are open to The First Tee Chapter employees, Board Members and additional select individuals. In fact ‘open’ is used quite loosely as it is a requirement that we budget the time and expenses to attend. Jennifer Nguyen, a Board Member and Proud Participant Parent also attended the conference on behalf of our chapter where she participated in three days of seminar and classroom style advanced learning.
I chose to share last week’s experience for two reasons. First, we are VERY PROUD to say that one of our own, Elizabeth Nguyen was selected to attend the Outstanding Participant Leadership Summit, taking place in conjunction with our Network Meetings. Lizzy, a sophomore at Pinecrest Highschool was one of twenty eight participants selected from The First Tee network, which consists of 175 Chapters nationwide. TWENTY EIGHT, that’s outstanding! Lizzy participated in a three day interactive educational event that helps inspire, educate and grow the participant into a leader at our chapter, school and community. Not only was Lizzy selected to attend this year’s event but she was also asked to speak during our lunch session on Thursday to a room of 800 Directors, Board Members, Coaches and advocates of The First Tee. For five minutes Lizzy controlled the room, speaking on ‘The impact The First Tee has had on her life and how the lessons learned from The First Tee have transferred to her life off the golf course’, and boy was it powerful. The word allotment I was given is just not big enough to tell her full story!
Finally, the theme of the network meeting for chapter staff and leaders was “Building Momentum”. For The First Tee of the Sandhills BUILDING + MOMENTUM are words we will associate with our chapter this year and for many years to come. It’s almost as if they read our minds because locally we are doing just that. We are BUILDING a concrete foundation that is as strong as a boulder but as smooth as the greens on Pinehurst #2 during the US Open. Then we are releasing MOMENTUM through marketing, drive, awareness, outreach, enthusiasm and planning of our board, staff, volunteers, donors and proud parents.
A quote I heard this week hit home, “When you’re going to build a house that has to go up, what do you do first? Dig a hole DOWN!” So, in true Texas spirit, strap on your boots, get your shovel and let’s dig our Foundation as deep and wide as we can! Because we are going to dig our way through our service area footprint until there is nowhere else to go. And when that day comes we will have positively impacted the lives of more young people than our dreams ever thought were possible.
Now, who’s in?