The First Tee Leadership Summit, in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore, 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. After participating in a 5-week local Leadership Series available to First Tee Orange County teens, Antonio was chosen as one of our three chapter’s nominees to be considered for the Summit. He was then selected as one of just 40 First Tee participants in the nation to take part in this amazing opportunity. Of those 40, Antonio was one of ONLY FOUR who were chosen to receive a life-changing $20,000 College Scholarship and this is his story:
“Going into something that had never been done before with little information created a unique situation that I had never been in before, but it turned out to be one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever gone through.
First, the initial five-week leadership training at PGA Tour Superstore, where I was able to better understand my strengths and values. It was the first time I had ever stopped to think and access what makes me unique and how I should use it to help my other relationships. Through that process, I began to see a change in how I conducted my intentions and goals. I started to think about my goals and how they could be attainable, and soon becoming an orthopedic surgeon did not seem so crazy to me. I became comfortable with challenging myself because I believed that I had the skills and possessed the qualities to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals.
From the end of the leadership series and understanding my ultimate career goal as an orthopedic surgeon I was given the opportunity to attend the First Tee and PGA Tour Superstore National Leadership Summit in Montana, hosted at West Creek Ranch. The experience was filled with great people, great activities, and even better memories. From horseback riding to whitewater rafting, to even the beautiful mountain sunsets, I was presented with a huge growth moment. I learned from the great minds of executives from PGA Tour Superstore and LPGA player, Shasta Averyhardt. Each gave unique ways to improve our leadership and helped me identify ways to change for the better. My personal favorite was coming to understand the foundation of relationships and team building. Like horseback riding, you have a leader who tells the directions and what must be done, but the team is an integral part of the system because they carry out the orders. Without the horse or the team, no orders will be done and the leader fails in accomplishing their goal.
My favorite speaker, Shasta Averyhardt talked about the mental burden of being a leader and building more personal relationships and it spoke to me. It introduced the idea that I control how other people see me, and when I put on my best attitude and keep my head up even in the darkest of times it affects the people that surround me. Also, she spoke to me because she talked a lot about setting our intentions. To be intentional with our actions in order to obtain our goals. I found that in order for a dream of mine to become reality, I have to believe it into existence. That was something that was brought up many times during the week, including Executive of Marketing at PGA Tour Superstore, Ralph Stokes, who said in order to be the first you have to see yourself as the first.
The entire week was filled with countless memories with the other participants that helped create an unforgettable environment and experience for all individuals involved.
Last, I was presented with one of the four $20,000 scholarships as part of the leadership summit with PGA Tour Superstore. When I received the call from Ralph Stokes it was a moment I will never forget. He left me speechless, and it capped off a perfect First Tee opportunity. I am even more grateful for this special time in personal growth because it brought a great accomplishment into my life and I am so proud of the person I evolved into through this experience. All the participants in the entirety of the leadership series had an equal chance at being presented with the scholarship and that goes to show the bright future the next generation can have on our society. This is just the beginning of leadership amongst the youth, and I am excited for the new changes and life-changing ideas that will come from my fellow friends.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience gifted me with the experience of leadership development and personal growth. Having come out of the experience with new friends, a better understanding of myself and my goals, and a scholarship, I see the life-altering effect it will have on the rest of my life.
I am a leader who believes in myself and my team, who creates opportunities for success and accomplishes my goals through teamwork and communication. I say this with my whole heart and mind and share my knowledge with everyone else so we can create a better community for everyone.”