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At SCGA Junior, we’re doing our part to connect girls with the female role models that they need on and off the course. At a recent girl’s outing, the Women Lawyers of Los Angeles (WLALA) golf group hosted girls at Don Knabe GC for a career chat and round of golf.
This golf group was founded six years ago as a subset of WLALA with the goal of connecting women with legal careers, helping them become more confident in themselves and when playing golf with others in professional settings. The morning session was focused on helping introduce Junior girls to different law-related career paths and providing mentors on the path to achieve these dreams. All the women emphasized the importance of confidence and standing by other women throughout the day.
“Learning to golf means that you aren’t excluded by men in professional settings,” said Merle Vaughn, the managing director of Partner Practice Group. “The game is great for professional growth, because when you’re out there on the course, you’re a part of conversations that you wouldn’t otherwise be a part of.”
Vaughn shared a personal experience of being excluded from golf by her male coworkers and using that as her motivation to not only learn to play the game, but make sure that she was competitive with her male counterparts as well. During the panel, many of the women expressed a great desire for the girls that were listening to stand up for themselves and the other women around them.
“Always remember that you are equal to the men in your career and in your life,” said Tyra Saechao who is an employment attorney. “Have confidence in yourself, stay positive and keep working as hard as you know you can.”
As they shared stories about times that other people had tried to put them down, each woman expressed gratitude for the other people that have picked her up and helped her get where she is now.
“People will try to discourage you on the golf course, in the classroom and the workplace, but you have to believe in yourself,” Vaughn said. “And you have to have that go-to person who always has your back no matter what.”
As the group transitioned to the course, the girls became the women’s supporters ¬– there was even a lesson on the first tee from one of the girls. The nine-hole round was just as encouraging as the panel had been with a focus on positive reinforcement and having fun. Regardless of where anyone’s shot went, there were high fives and “nice shots,” all around.
The round featured prizes for the winners on two closest-to-the-pin holes, as well as the lowest-scoring foursome.
After the round, the girls shared things that they had learned with the group. The answers ranged from simple things like taking your time on the tee box, to things that the girl’s will be able to take with them off the golf course such as never giving up on what you love.
“Today I had a lot of fun with my group,” said 11-year-old Nataliya Laciste. “I learned that if you love something, and that’s what you want to do, then you can achieve it if you don’t give up and keep working hard.”
By the day’s end, hugs and phone numbers were exchanged between WLALA members and their younger playing partners, with audible excitement for the next opportunity to connect. SCGA Junior is excited to expand its girl’s-specific programming in the coming months. Stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved.
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