Skill / Age Level: Born in 2003
DriveForeGood is a community golf organization with the mission of making golf accessible to more kids. Creating DriveForeGood was my way of giving back, and also trying to grow the game for other kids. I plan and run golf equipment drives in my hometown of Winchester, MA a few times a year. I have also partnered with the Winchester Country Club to pass on equipment - like demo clubs or used sets - that they can donate. Once I collect the clubs and bags, I sort through everything and make as many complete sets as I can. In researching ways to use all of this equipment for good, I was excited to discover the First Tee of Massachusetts. The First Tee makes a huge impact on youth golf in Massachusetts with programs exposing school-aged children to golf. Their mission aligned perfectly with my ideas for DriveForeGood, and all of our collections are donated to the First Tee. Learning to play golf when kids are young can change their lives. When I began golfing when I was 10 years old, I had no way of knowing that my Winchester High School Golf Team would be winning an MIAA D2 Massachusetts State Championship. Aside from the physical benefits of being active, every round can teach sportsmanship, responsibility, integrity, and perseverance. It can also help create lasting friendships. I believe golf has helped shape my character, build my confidence, and develop as a student athlete at Winchester High School. The idea for DriveForeGood was to help kids who might not have access to play golf by helping provide equipment and support youth programs. Growing up, I was lucky to be able to play, and I knew it. After playing a few years, I was outgrowing some of my clubs, and I also began seeing a lot of valuable clubs sitting around in garages collecting dust. Then during a Winchester High School season, our team was given new golf bags, leaving us all with spare, unused bags. I had this in mind when I created DriveForeGood. I thought if I could get free equipment to other kids, they might just find an interest in golf. Then I started looking for the best way to help. I researched programs already in place that could use equipment. I also thought another alternative could be to donate the equipment directly to a youth center or possibly a golf course who could draw kids into clinics. It was exciting to come across the First Tee of Massachusetts. They run so many outreach programs like the First-Tee DRIVE and Tee Up in Gym Class - initiatives that draw so many new kids to golf. One surprising thing I discovered about starting DriveForeGood was how many people came together to help. Winchester really came through. They cared about getting golf equipment to other kids. And they took the time to donate it. Each Drive gave me a real sense of community. And once I reached out to the First Tee to donate the equipment, they really appreciated what DriveForeGood was doing. Another thing I learned about myself through this whole experience, is how important it is to get involved in the community. What began here, branched out to the First Tee, and has a much broader reach than I expected. I am grateful for all that my family, my schools, my town, and the Winchester Country Club has given me. It is rewarding to give back in a way that might just help a kid discover the amazing game of golf and - who knows - maybe even become the next Tiger Woods.