2023 Salinas Campus Highlights

Together we are Building Game Changers!

Time flies when you are having fun! Here are some highlights of 2023 from our Salinas Campus. From a 30,000 foot perspective, the Salinas campus impacted more than 5,000 participants from 16 different elementary and middle schools. In addition, 7,200 youth were exposed to our program through outreach events in the community.

The First Tee’s impact becomes even clearer when we start to focus on some of our participants individual successes. Onofre Badillo was selected to participate in the Pure Insurance Championship; It was a learning experience that he will never forget. Max Damian Perez was offered a caddy position at Cypress Point Club through the Evans Scholarship Program. Through our partnership with the NCGA and the Boys & Girls Club, seven students were hired on for 100 hour internships at The First Tee Monterey County. As a way to recognize our volunteers, we offered a monthly golf clinic for them to sharpen their skills. We were able to present or help participants to apply for the following individuals with college scholarships:

  • John Zoller Memorial Scholarship – Gabriela Barajas
  • Ollie Nut Memorial Scholarship – Zoe Ray & Allen Bautista (Originally this was one scholarship, but through both participants life stories, a decision was made to split the scholarship by Ollie’s wife Bonnie Nut.)
  • Zoller Family Scholarship – Deserie Ibarra
  • Donna Zoller Memorial Scholarship – Denise Alvarez
  • Men’s Golf Association at Quail Lodge Scholarship – Deserie Ibarra  

Additional Highlights

First Green – GCSAA golf course superintendents invited local schools and youth groups out to their golf course for a two-to-three-hour field trip. Typically, there will be four to five STEM and environmental science learning stations. The First Green also had a Career Exploration Panel of Experts who spoke about their experience to all the girls. The golf course superintendents for this field trip were all be women, from all over the country. 

Monterey Bay Football Club Clinic – The Local professional Football club came to First Tee – Monterey County to spend an afternoon, participants were able to enjoy football and golf activities. We had three professional football players that focused on mentorship and building connections. Our participants were able to be competitive and ask questions when on the range with each professional. In addition to the activities each participant was able to get to know the players in a meet and greet style photo op at the end of the visit.

Little Jenny Ranch Youth Development Camp – This was the first Year they opened their camp to Girls. We were able to send 3 boys and 3 girls to experience what it is like to live in the great outdoors. 

Interdistrict Golf League – Championship winners were Jesse G. Sanchez Elementary Team, out of the 12 elementaries in the Alisal School District, Jesse G. Sanchez was successful because of the support from one of the 6th grade teacher and a First Tee Volunteer setting up trainings weekly with the students.

Our partnership with Brighter Bites gave us the opportunity to hand out fresh produce boxes for over 100 families in need. 

During the Pure Insurance we had a Campus Visit from Hole in one Champion Micheal Pena (Actor) and Manolo (Tik Tok Golf Influencer). They both visited during Daytime programming to inspire and speak about their life stories and how showing respect can improve your life at school and in your community. They additionally challenge kids to stay persistent with their goals to achieve them if they want to be actors, Tik Tok Influencers, Teachers, Lawyers, etc.  

The momentum is building in Salinas and we are excited to see what 2024 brings!