Four High School Seniors Earn National Designation as The First Tee Scholar – Class of 2017

Categories: Participant Spotlight

Four High School Seniors Earn National Designation as The First Tee Scholar – Class of 2017

Joshua Hirtle, Alaina Malcolm, Elizabeth Nguyen and Caroline Rea – all participants of The First Tee of the Sandhills, have earned the national designation of The First Tee Scholar – Class of 2017. An exceptional feet considering only 82 high school seniors across the country were selected to this designation.

The First Tee, a youth development organization that introduces young people to the game of golf and its inherent values, recognizes participants for exceptional achievement in academics, leadership, character development, and chapter and community involvement through The First Tee Scholars Program.

Applications are accepted once per year from seniors in high school who meet the minimum requirements and are scored by an independent committee.

Joshua Hirtle, a Senior at Pinecrest High School, has been a chapter participant since 2013 after moving from The First Tee of Clarksville. In addition to regularly attending Eagle Level programs, Joshua is a staple in our administrative office where he has spearheaded the organization of our equipment donation program, helping the chapter turn unusable donations into around $4,000 in revenue to purchase additional equipment needs. When Joshua is not at The First Tee, you can find him tinkering on his car, tutoring students at West Pine Middle School or working at Roberts Golf. Joshua credits The First Tee for teaching him how to persevere through the every changing landscape as a member of a military child. Joshua will attend UNC Charlotte this fall where he plans to become a mechanical engineer and one day hopes to get plugged into car development for motorsports.

Alaina Malcolm, a Senior at Robeson County Early College, has been a chapter participant since 2012. In addition to traveling 50 miles each way to attend Birdie Level programs in Moore County, Alaina has provided her time as a volunteer with PLAYer Level programs in Lumberton, and donor events throughout the year. When away from The First Tee, Alaina spends time golfing with her brother and friends, practicing for and attending dance competitions and preparing for her future endeavor as a member of the Coast Guard. Alaina has signed a letter of intent to attend Pembroke University where she will be a student-athlete on the golf team.   

Elizabeth Nguyen, a Senior at Pinecrest High School, has been a chapter participant since 2012. In addition to her high level of involvement in Ace level programs, Lizzy generously donates her time through junior coaching and public speaking on behalf of the chapter. Elizabeth has signed a letter of intent to attend Georgetown University where she will be a student-athlete on the golf team. She has big dreams of one day being on the forefront of the innovative transition from oil and gas to renewable energy that would contribute to a cleaner world for our children to inherit. A goal she hopes to accomplish by working in the energy sector upon graduation from college.

Caroline Rea, a duel enrolled Senior through her home school program and Sandhills Community College, has been a chapter participant since 2006. In addition to her high level of involvement in Ace level programs, Caroline is a dependable and enthusiastic junior coach at our TARGET and PLAYer programs as well as special events and fundraisers. Caroline has signed a letter of intent to attend Pfieffer University where she will be a student-athlete on the golf team. Post College, Caroline wants to work in the health industry as a Physician’s Assistant, specifically in Pediatric Care.

“We are truly humbled to be able to showcase four local seniors on the national stage in this way. It’s a great honor to be recognized for your academic achievements and community involvement at such a young age. These kids are prepared to do big things and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them,” expressed Courtney Stiles, Executive Director of The First Tee of the Sandhills.

Board President, Jay Biggs, chimed in saying, “Congratulations to a wonderful senior class. We look forward to calling them Alumni for many years to come.”   

With this designation, these four honorees have the exclusive opportunity to apply for educational scholarship programs offered through The First Tee to attend a participating college or university. Announcements regarding these scholarship opportunities will be made later this spring.

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