Dr. Timothy Vu immigrated from Vietnam to the Little Saigon community in Orange County 26 years ago. As he navigated life in America, he knew he could overcome his obstacles if he saw them as motivation to fuel his success.
With a network of support from family, teachers and TGR Foundation’s Earl Woods Scholar Program, Vu is the first person in his family to graduate high school, college, post-graduate school and become a working professional.
Currently residing in Garden Grove, Ca. with his parents and younger brother, Vu graduated UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in both Biology and English. He later completed medical school at the University of California, Irvine while simultaneously earning his Master’s in Business Administration.
Between shifts as an Internal Medicine Resident at UC Irvine Medical Center, Vu opened up about his path to medicine and the support he received along the way.
As we reflect on the many highlights of 2021 we can all acknowledge the change and revivals we experienced together. From advancements in medical approaches to the Coronavirus to the reopening of schools and businesses, this year gave us reasons to reflect where we’ve come from, celebrate how we moved forward and continue working toward a brighter future for everyone.
Joining a global day of generosity on Giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021, TGR Foundation seeks support for its education programs in 2022 and beyond.
Now, more than ever, quality education and career readiness are critical for student success. To meet the increasing challenges students, educators and families face, the foundation is expanding existing partnerships to continue providing free education programs, resources and support.
Growing up I was always fascinated by how things worked. I was the kid that took apart the remote control and put it back together again. My parents knew early on that if my hands were busy, so was my mind. And they knew I came alive when I was working with my hands.
Sometimes, when my mom was off from work, she’d take me to a science store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, across the river from our home in Philadelphia. I’d leave with some sort of D.I.Y. kit, like a baking soda volcano or a robot making set.
My dad was on the road a lot, working as a truck driver, but when he’d come round, we’d sit for hours and build RC model planes. And sometimes, if we finished early enough, we’d head over to the airport, park the car and sit for hours, watching the planes take off and land. It never got old.
Staring up into the sky, with my dad by my side and airplanes overhead, I knew, even as an eight-year-old kid from Philly, that I would be a pilot one day.
I’m 21-years-old now, and nearly one year into my eighteen-month program at flight mechanic school. I’m excited about what awaits me after I graduate, but the road to get where I am today was not always clear or easy.
TGR Foundation’s newest college-access course, “How to Find Scholarships,” is now live on the Learn & Earn™ app. Created by the team behind Acorns, Learn & Earn provides students with bite-sized courses covering a broad range of real-world topics including financial literacy, potential careers and life skills that prepare students for the future. For each course students complete, they earn real money toward an investment portfolio in their names, opening up a whole world of savings and investments.
Currently a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, 16-year Christian Seong has a lot on his plate – and he likes it that way. When he’s not spending his free time thrift shopping or drawing, Christian keeps himself active and involved at school, and currently serves as the Associated Student Body President. Christian is also the Program Choir President of the Kennedy Singers and the co-President/co-Founder of the Humanitarian Resource Association as well as the John F. Kennedy High School Humanitarian Resource Association Branch Club. This summer, Christian participated in TGR Foundation’s virtual College Bound Academy (CBA) program, where he received the college guidance and support he was looking for. Read more about his experience with CBA.
With TGR Learning Lab campuses and the renowned Earl Woods Scholar Program impacting students across the country, TGR Foundation had established itself as a leader in STEM education and college-access by 2016. In spite of countless student success stories at that time, our founder, Tiger Woods, wanted to achieve more and set a goal to reach millions of students around the world. To reach that goal – in years, not decades – TGR Foundation began working to build a digital presence from the ground up.
We started by asking driving questions including and them with the launch of TGREDUExplore.org, a free platform developed in partnership with Discovery Education.
At just 14-years-old, Christopher “Topher” Cornell loves to take on new challenges. In the year-and-a half that he’s been a TGR Learning Lab student member, Topher has joined numerous classes exploring topics from graphic design to app development and forensics. A high school freshman at Cambridge Virtual Academy, Topher partook in the TGR Learning Lab’s Pi-ology class this summer and had the opportunity to work with a Raspberry Pi for the first time. Learn more about his hands-on experience with the Pi and how he plans to incorporate what he’s learned into his possible future career!
As educators come through the TGR Learning Lab for the very first time, they often hear the excited chatter from students busy tinkering and creating. From the mechanical sounds of gears rotating within the 3D printers to EV3 robots zipping up and down the hallways, there is a palpable energy throughout the building.
These educators quickly catch onto the enthusiasm coming from the students who are given the unique opportunity to move beyond textbooks and truly take charge of their learning. Having worked with both students and educators, what I’ve come to recognize is that regardless of our age or life experiences, we all have a natural curiosity and a desire to be life-long learners. Teachers love to be just as engaged as their students. It reminds them firsthand of what their students will be challenged with when they learn new concepts.
Over the past year, our team has learned to embrace change. Prior to March 2020 – all our incoming Earl Woods Scholars would gather at the TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, CA to partake in our annual Pre-College Retreat. However, this year was different; our team had to pivot and transform an in-person event to a virtual setting.
Our first priority was to keep our scholars safe by having them attend the event from home. Keeping to tradition, the Pre-College Retreat remained a two-day event. We had 15 scholars join us from Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.
Being a first-generation college student comes with a lot of pride and a sense of accomplishment, but it also comes with a lot of challenges. My parents, who immigrated from Mexico as unaccompanied minors, paved the way for me to succeed but did not know how to support me academically. I did well throughout my early education and through high school, but I did not decide on a path or clearly know of the college path until my high school counselor nominated me for the Earl Woods Scholar Program.
I can honestly say that being an Earl Woods Scholar was life changing. It laid the foundation for my later achievements and allowed me to truly understand the value of mentorship.
As any educator knows, students invariably leave a mark. Whether your orbits pass quickly, or they line up for months or years, your time with a student – the shared learning experiences, the bits of laughter or frustration, the feeling one gets during moments of reflection – is lasting. For some, it might be the slightest bout of recognition (“That’s right, you sat in the back corner of my class!”); for others, for one reason or another, no amount of time can completely wash away a set of memories. Elmu Sadalah was one of those students who left an indelible mark.
EdTech Breakthrough recently recognized TGR EDU: Explore as the Overall College Prep Solution of the Yearin its EdTech Breakthrough Awards. Including the suite of college access and preparation resources highlighted, TGR EDU: Explore is a free digital platform, developed in partnership with Discovery Education, to empower students, educators and families with resources, skills and experiences to help them achieve success in and outside of the classroom.
When I began working at TGR Foundation 16 years ago, I was tasked with developing college-access and readiness programs. At the time, I knew we were setting out to help high schoolers and their families plan for higher education, but I truly didn’t know how deep and expansive our impact would run. Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, passed in May 2006, and following his death came the birth of […]
While school maybe out in just a few short weeks, our TGR Learning Lab is gearing up for another busy summer, filled with an array of activities for curious minds and eager learners. Are you ready to hear all we have in store? Let’s get into it.
TGR Foundation has had a lot to celebrate in 2021 including its 25-year anniversary, 2 million students reached through its education programs and a recent four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the highest distinction possible.
The leading charity evaluator in America, Charity Navigator assesses the fiscal health, accountability and transparency of 1.5 million charities across the nation. TGR Foundation is among the top organizations receiving the distinction nine consecutive years, an honor bestowed on the top 4% of American charities.
After participating in the TGR Learning Lab Expanded Learning Program for the first time, Matthew Payan’s passion for science was awakened and his participation continued. During the pandemic his interests led him to several classes that allowed him to gain skills that he put to use immediately. He recently reflected on his experience and the benefits of participating in the TGR Learning Lab’s Programs as he prepares to start his freshman year of high school in the fall.
TGR Foundation’s professional learning workshops have been a revelation. Prior to attending the workshops, I heard about many of the concepts I’ve now adopted including student-centered instruction and project-based learning. What makes TGR Foundation’s teacher training program unique is that you experience the pedagogy from the perspective of both the teacher and the student.
It began with my initial glimpse of the TGR Learning Lab. A futuristic and modern facility, the entry heralds the promise of an exciting, eye-opening experience. Soaring glass windows and an open-air feeling pervades the space. Appropriately located next to a golf course, the TGR Learning Lab, Tiger Woods’ ode to STEM education, is both inviting and inspirational.
I attended my first educator training workshop in 2017, and I was blown away.
“Together” is a word that has been used frequently throughout the course of the pandemic. As TGR Foundation navigates life in a new season of change and uncertainty, the support from its community is essential to its ability to continue meeting the needs of students, families and educators.
TGR Foundation’s partnership with Aptive Environmental began in 2019 with their pledge to support the Earl Woods Scholar Program. Aptive recognized the academic accomplishments of two students in the Class of 2023 and provided financial support for their collegiate career.
As I look back on the 15 years since the TGR Learning Lab opened its doors to students and families in Anaheim, California, I am immensely proud of the hard work, growth and student success that has taken place. Thousands of underserved students have walked through our doors into a safe space that has given them opportunities they might not have had otherwise. The Learning Lab has helped students find their passion and pursue it, experience innovation and foster creativity all while being supported by caring adults to mentor and guide them on their journey.