On Saturday, January 6, 29 SCGA Junior Golf Foundation scholars gathered at Old Ranch CC in Seal Beach to reunite, network and reflect on their first semester of the 2023-2024 collegiate school year.    

Between bites of sliders, fries, pizza and cookies, scholars practiced public speaking in front of their peers, family, SCGA staff, Foundation board members and Scholarship Committee.   

Scholars shared their favorite classes, extracurriculars and other highlights from the fall. Additionally, a handful of the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation student-athlete scholars took to the podium to update the room on their golf game and how they’ve learned time management between classes, practices, workouts and tournaments.  

The luncheon started with a welcome speech from SCGA Junior’s Executive Director, Kevin Gigax, who shared that the purpose of the afternoon event was not only an opportunity for the scholars to get to know each other, compare experiences from college and update the committee on progress in school, but “for our guests to learn more about this program and the impact it has on the young men and women who are involved.”      

Suzanne Kelly, chair of the Scholarship Committee, noted that 48 students received a portion of the $225,000 awarded for the 2023-2024 school year. The Scholarship Committee has awarded 1.61 million dollars in educational support over the past 11 years.  

Scholar and SCGA Junior coach, Sophia Martinez reflected on the positive impact of the scholarship. In addition to supporting her through college, Martinez said, “It’s a program that really loves you and pushes you to be your best.”  

Another standout speech was from Mitzi Duarte, a first-year attending UC Riverside. Between finding time to sneak in some naps due to her busy schedule as a student-athlete, Duarte shared that playing in Division I tournaments was “extremely exciting for me because it was my first college events and also my first time playing outside of California, playing golf courses such as Chambers Bay and Coeur d’Alene was such a great learning experience for me because it challenged both my physical and mental game.”   

Once all 29 scholars had spoken, the room broke into three rounds of 10-minute sessions, allowing scholars, SCGA staff, the scholarship committee and board members to mingle, connect, learn more about one another and quiz each other on the other’s college mascot.      

Thanks to everyone who attended and supported the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation’s mid-year reception! Photos from the event can be found here 

Registration for the 2024-2025 SCGA Junior Foundation Scholarship is now open! The application can be found here. Additionally, you do NOT need to be a collegiate athlete to apply. For currently enrolled scholars, renewal applications are due March 15.