During his father’s deployment with the Air Force when he was seven, Jake Pierce was introduced to First Tee through a non-profit organization that connects service members’ families with a variety of programs. Jake, now 18, remembers that even with no prior exposure to golf, he immediately loved the game, and has stuck with it ever since.
Today, Jake is a volunteer with First Tee – Central Ohio, and even joined the team as an intern last summer. “Now that I’m coaching, it’s awesome to see these kids coming up through the program,” says Jake. “They grow dramatically with both life skills and golf skills.”
He plays on his high school’s golf team, making it to Division 1 District competition, during this, his senior year. This year, Jake also had the opportunity to play in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour Tournament of Champions in Orlando, after qualifying for the event through a regional tournament.
Along with accomplishing some big goals in his golf life, Jake says his biggest takeaway from his many years in the First Tee program is the life skills. “I learned more about life skills – especially sportsmanship and integrity – than golf, which is awesome to me. It shows First Tee is balanced between the golf side and the life skills side.”
Jake will graduate from high school in the spring of 2023. He is looking forward to playing college golf at Ohio Northern University and potentially joining ROTC. He is thankful for all the years of support and opportunity he’s had through First Tee. “I’ve met so many good people; been in so many great places,” said Jake. “They really want to help you succeed in life.”
Are you ready to make a difference?
If you’re interested in impacting the lives of kids like Jake, learn more about how to get involved. You can make a difference through financial support, donating your time or other opportunities.