Congratulations to the six First Tee of Greater Chicago participants chosen to play in The First Tee of Greater New Orleans National Golf Tournament!

We’re excited to announce that six of our participants have been selected to participate at First Tee Greater New Orleans’ National Tournament Sponsored by Hancock Whitney Bank, December 19th through December 21st at Chateau Golf & Country Club! Ahmad Raoul Ahmad, 15, has been participating in First Tee Greater Chicago for eight years. A Sophomore at Mount Carmel High School, He is a member of the Varsity golf team, speech team, and robotics team.  Ahmad has played on the Varsity golf team since his Freshman year and was voted Top Rookie as a Freshman; and Low Gross this year. As a Freshman, he won the St. Rita Freshman Invite at Glenwoodie Golf Course. This year, he advanced to Sectionals missing State by only four strokes.  Ahmad’s favorite core value is perseverance because it can be used both on and off the golf course. “I use it on the golf course because if I am having a bad round, I do not let a score, shot, or hole mess up my game, I have to persevere. In school, I persevere to stay engaged and work hard to maintain my 3.8 GPA.” “I am excited to return the New Orleans in December and compete in First Tee New Orleans’ National Golf Tournament again. Last year, I was not happy with my results, but still had tons of fun while it lasted. This year, my goal is to improve on my scores from last year, meet and make new friends, and have even more fun than I did last year!”   Madison Miller Madison, 15, has been a First Tee participant for 5 years. A sophomore at Saint Ignatius College Prep, she has been on the Ignatius golf team for the past two years. Recently she held a spot on the Varsity Girls Golf Team, that won the IHSA Sectionals.  Madison’s favorite First Tee Core Value is perseverance: “The need to persevere has been a constant theme throughout my life. I’ve faced many academic and personal hardships, and sometimes it feels easier to just give up. But I’ve learned to be resilient and not allow my struggles to disable me.” “I am extremely excited for this opportunity. I don’t get to travel often and I’ve never been to New Orleans. It’ll be nice to escape the harsh winter of Chicago, but best of all, I get to compete in my favorite sport while I’m there. This is an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to see what it entails.”    Mallorie Clifton Malorie, 15, has been in the First Tee program for 4 years. A Sophomore at Marist High School, she plays for both Varsity and Junior Varsity girls golf. Additionally, she plays in many Illinois Junior Golf Association events (IJGA) in the summer. Malorie’s favorite core value is integrity: “Golf is based off your honesty, and you need integrity to be honest. You can also use it for way more than just golf; you can use it in your everyday life.” “I am so excited for this opportunity to play golf and work on my leadership skills, plus I’ve never been to New Orleans. So, this trip is going to be super fun!”   Tristan Knoll Tristan, 13, has been a participant with First Tee for five years. He attends Woodland Middle School in Gurnee, IL. He competed for his school at the IESA sectionals for the last two years. His favorite First Tee Core Value is Perseverance: “When I have a bad hole, I am able to persevere through my mistakes and start fresh on the next tee box.” “I am very excited to have this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it!   Aidan Vazquez Aidan has been involved in First Tee Greater Chicago program since second grade. He is a sophomore at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. The lessons and values learned in the First Tee program helped him qualify for his high school golf team the past two years.  Aidan’s favorite core value is perseverance: “I’ve had to use this skill in life, school and with my golf game. I was born severely premature, at 25 weeks, and have always had to work harder to catch up to my peers. I had milestones to catch up to with the help of my parents. Also, math has been a bit challenging over the years. Hard work and perseverance have helped me achieve goals. Finally, every time a golfer hits the ball something new happens. Sometimes it’s the best shot of your life, and other times it isn’t. Going up to make that shot with a clear head and knowing I need to keep trying helps me while I play golf. I may not always have the best score, but I try to persevere each time I go out to play a round so I don’t give up and quit. First Tee has helped me with this core value.” “I was surprised to learn that my coach, Herb Searfoss, nominated me for the opportunity to play at the National First Tee Tournament in New Orleans. I’m proud, and honored, to be recognized for my hard work, dedication, and showing the core values on and off the golf course. This is a chance of a lifetime experience. I look forward to meeting new people and having fun at the tournament.”   Andrew Cadiena Andrew, 15 years old, is a sophomore at Warren Township High School. Andrew has been playing golf for 8 years and been with First Tee for 7 years.  “I recently played at Olympia Fields with a few coaches and competed in the Mini Masters Tournament at Greenshire Golf Course in Waukegan. My lowest score ever achieved was 85 when I played in the Philippines”.  Andrew’s favorite core value is honesty: “I am always up front with people and tell them the truth”. “I am very excited to go out and play in New Orleans. It will be my first time leaving home to go on a golf trip to compete in a tournament in another state. The warmer weather of New Orleans will be nice to play in, since it is no longer summer in Illinois. I will also get to meet new First Tee coaches and other kids in the program from other states.”