2021-2022 Recipient

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Kendall Jackson

Before I begin, I just wanted to thank The Gerald and Candace Giving Program, Diamonds on the Green & DC on the Green for this amazing opportunity. I know this scholarship will not only be a tremendous help financially, but it will allow me to pursue my academic and athletic aspirations.

 

I started golf through The First Tee of Greater Houston F.M. Law Park Chapter in 2009. The lessons, life skills, and core values taught by the First Tee have allowed me to excel in golf and become a more well-rounded individual. One of the most important lessons I have learned from golf is perseverance. The definition of perseverance is, “to persist in an idea, purpose or task despite obstacles.” Understanding what perseverance means is simple, but being able to exude it on the golf course in the midst of adversity is challenging. In order to excel in golf, it is vital to continue through tough breaks, bad shots, and careless mistakes while learning from previous experiences. This has helped me compete in golf tournaments, persevere under academic endeavors, and deal with the many challenges of life. Golf has also taught me the importance of giving back. I volunteered at The First Tee on Saturday mornings and coached the beginner classes.

 

My most major high school golf accomplishment was becoming the first person, male or female, from Pearland High School to qualify for the Texas UIL 6A Girls Golf State Championship. On April 24-25, 2018, I shot a two day 76, 77, and placed 5th of 96 girls to qualify for state. I accomplished that feat my freshman year. However, just recently on April 19-20, 2021, I shattered my own record by shooting a 74 the first day, where I was tied for 10th, and my new personal best (-5), 67 the second day, to finish 3rd of 93 girls to advance to state for the second time. I advanced to state twice out of three golf seasons. At state, I was able to finished 8th of 72 golfers by posting a 76 and sinking a 30-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to shoot a 72, even par. This summer I qualified for the 72nd USGA U.S. Girls’ Jr. Championship and placed 2nd at the Texas Junior Amateur.

 

My future career pathway is to support individuals with money management and investments and use technology to improve activities in their finance. After graduating from Howard University, I plan to use my Business Finance major and Computer Science minor, to work as a financial advisor and use technology to help people create long-term wealth and avoid debt, specifically those from underrepresented communities,

I have committed to playing Division I golf at Howard University in Washington D.C. I am thrilled that I will have the opportunity to elevate my game to the next level, compete across the country, and win championships. My aspirations also include becoming an LPGA Tour Player, winning tournaments, and major championships. Black women make up less than one percent of the golf industry. In order for golf to grow and continue throughout the next generations, it is vital to have more minority women in this sport. Once I become a professional golfer, my goal is to provide more minority youth with access to golf. When I began as a junior golfer, my parents and I had little knowledge of what to expect regarding the process. One thing that I aspire to do is to share my experiences with incoming junior golfers to continue to strengthen diversity across gender, age, and cultural lines. As a professional golfer, I will be able to serve as a global representative for people who have never considered the sport as an interest or seen themselves in golf.

 

Lastly, I enjoy reading, playing the piano, and creative writing. I wanted to share a poem I wrote titled “Six Feet.” Thank you so much for this opportunity and I hope to be a recipient for The Gerald and Candace Giving Program Scholarship.

 

This is the moment I have been training for

Look, glance, and observe

It all dwindles down to the final score

I am all nerves as I survey its final curve

The way the sunlight cascades onto each blade of grass

The deafening silence of the crowd

Time passes like sand through an hour glass

No matter what happens, I know I will be proud

 

Inhale the positivity, exhale the negativity

Set up and take one final glance

All those bad times, I am taking captivity

As I swing, I am in a zen-like trance

 

A six-foot putt to become victorious

All I can say afterwards, is that it was glorious