March 18, 2019

Earl Woods Scholar Desiree Sim sets her sights on life after college

This Memorial weekend, TGR Live will host its 21st Tiger Jam, an exclusive two-day charity event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Like all TGR Live events, Tiger Jam’s overarching purpose is and always has been to raise awareness and support for the students and scholars TGR Foundation serves around the world.

Highlighting the work we do and the reason we do it, the heart of the weekend belongs to an Earl Woods Scholar, who takes the stage to share how the foundation has impacted and supported their journey.

As we prepare for this year’s featured speaker to be announced, we look back at last year’s remarkable speaker, Earl Woods Scholar Desiree Sim, as she prepares to graduate from college.

Desiree, a New York native and, at the time, a rising senior at Skidmore College, bravely shared her triumphant journey – one that was shaped by uncertainty and loss. Now, in just three short months, Desiree will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Since last year’s Tiger Jam, she has spent much of her final year of college working toward obtaining 400 field placement hours, a requirement for her major, at the Saratoga Senior Center.

“This is the first time I am working with the senior population and I really enjoy it because I get to work on a macro and micro level. I get to work with people individually, in a group, complete administrative tasks, build my own programming and collect, organize and enter data,” Desiree explained.

In January, Desiree took part in a hallmark event for the foundation and the Earl Woods Scholar Program – Winter Workshop. Her final Winter Workshop as an active Earl Woods Scholar, the two-day retreat was a significant moment for her as she was able to reflect back on how the program has guided her over the last four years, as well as her experience as the scholar speaker at Tiger Jam in the spring of 2018.

“My favorite part of the Earl Woods Scholar Program was when we took part in an obstacle course in the air and had no other choice but to hold each other up. Four years later, through every Winter Workshop, we continued to hold each other up, more emotional than physical. When you are scared you are going to fall, you become miraculously stronger.”

After graduation, Desiree plans to gain work experience while saving to apply for graduate school, with hopes of obtaining a Master of Business Administration and Social Work dual degree. Her long-term goal is to start her own non-profit to provide social services to at-risk adolescents, including informational workshops, housing and internship assistance, mentorship and more.

“It’s bittersweet to be graduating college in just three months,” Desiree shared. “I am sad to be leaving everything but happy I’ve made it this far. As a first generation, womxn of color, this journey through college has been anything but easy. I have met some really great people and learned a lot along the way, but I think there’s so much more out there. Whether I like it or not, graduation is around the corner, and I am excited but emotional all at once. Nevertheless, I am ready to conquer.”

Redefining what it means to be a champion.