Tag: Earl Woods Scholar Program>
Each summer before freshmen Earl Woods Scholars begin their collegiate journeys, the program’s pre-college retreat, designed to prepare them for success, provides an array of information and resources throughout the three-day experience.
Joining three cohorts of 18 students from southern California and Washington D.C., the retreat took place primarily at the flagship TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, CA.
As a basketball fan, I was always curious about working for the National Basketball Association. The paths to NBA careers beyond the court aren’t as visible as those like Facebook or Google, but I believed it was possible if I built my experience and connections.
My job search process was untraditional for careers in the technology industry. The positions I thought I’d receive a response from, I didn’t, but I received unexpected interest from several companies including the NBA. I found my position through LinkedIn, and a recruiter contacted me for an interview. I went through a swift interview process that ended with an offer I accepted. After finishing my master’s program and taking a well-needed break, I began my role as a Project Software Engineer on the Stats Technology Product Development team.
As I approached graduation and reflected on the Earl Woods Scholar class of 2022, it became clear to me that the story of our college experience is one of resilience.
Each of us has endured countless struggles and tragedies and emerged much stronger and wiser. We have overcome every single obstacle that has come our way, from national distress to a global pandemic. Each of us is so much more than the worst thing we’ve ever experienced and nothing, not even the most formidable forces, can keep us down.
Growing up as a low-income minority student attending an impoverished high school, it was easy to see the separations between a good education and an amazing education. I wanted an amazing education; I wanted what I couldn’t have at the time, but I knew it could be mine if I worked hard enough.
I was selected to attend the University of Rochester on a full-ride scholarship through the Posse Scholar Program and support from the Earl Woods Scholar Program. Attending UR was the best decision I made, financially and personally, because of the opportunities I have gained within my research interests and things I want to accomplish on the path to earning a Ph.D.
Being from a first-generation, low-income, foster youth background and a proud Chicana, the significance of college itself goes beyond my personal goals. I decided to attend Dartmouth College majoring in astronomy and physics with a minor in education because of the limitless opportunities that come with education here. I knew that Dartmouth College was going […]
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.
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.
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 […]
I was born in a village in China and my only perception of the world used to be my village. It wasn’t until my parents decided to take a leap of faith and fly more than 1,500 miles to the United States so I could pursue the “American Dream” that my perception of the world expanded. Because my parents did not speak English, I had to navigate this foreign place on my own. I have been trying to pave my own path from the moment I landed in the United States, with both successes and failures.
I heard “you need to go to college to get a good job” my entire life. I was always told I needed to attend a school like UCLA or UC Berkeley because it was all my parents heard from other people. Though these school names became very familiar, I had absolutely no idea how to get there. Until my junior year of high school, I had no idea what the SAT, FAFSA, UC applications and even the Common Application was. As the first person in my family to apply for the FAFSA and fill out college applications, I was met with obstacles at every step. However, through a college-access program called College Match, I not only gained the tools and support to pursue higher education, I discovered the Earl Woods Scholar Program in the process.
From a very young age I knew that I wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer. My father planted the seed in my mind of me becoming a lawyer at the prime age of nine years old. Throughout my childhood I was always eager to tell any and everybody that would listen that I was going to grow up and be a lawyer. I remember watching lawyers on television and envisioning my future life through the lens of those television characters. I became engrossed with law-related entertainment whether it was a television show, movie, documentary or book. What nine-year-old do you know who is obsessed with Law & Order? I was that nine-year-old.
Every year we welcome a new cohort of Earl Woods Scholars into our fold – a group of dynamic, civic-minded and high-achieving students representing the best and brightest from their communities. This year was no different. While COVID-19 prevented the Class of 2024 scholars from coming together for our annual pre-college retreat, hosted at our flagship TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, Ca., they’ve had ample opportunities to connect virtually with one another and our dedicated college-access team.
As we welcome our new cohort of 21 Earl Woods Scholars, we hear from them, in their own words, who they are and what motivates them.
I am currently a senior at Dartmouth College, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Markets, Economics and Management. I hope to merge both my passions for business and social impact over the course of my career. I have been part of many different organizations that give back to the community, including TGR Foundation’s Earl Woods Scholar Program.
In 2016, I co-founded Empowering Generations of Leaders (E.G.O.L), a collective that works on developing young leaders in the community and encourages them to lend their voice in the worlds of art, politics and civic engagement to change their neighborhoods for the better. More recently, I also co-founded my clothing company R.House. With my company, I have been able to provide a platform and a distribution channel for young creatives of color.
The Earl Woods Scholar Program recently launched a digital platform to engage scholars and expand opportunities among its members. Open to current scholars, alumni and select TGR Foundation staff, the platform will provide a central online hub for students to connect, engage in meaningful dialogue on topics of interest and explore opportunities to gain experience and enhance their skillset.
What can one person do to change the world? That is a tough question. Many people ask themselves this question. I would venture to guess that most answer it with pessimism. How could the actions of one person actually change the world? Unless you are Bill Gates or Elon Musk or someone with unlimited means and influence, you probably feel that your efforts would be a drop in the ocean.
I started to think about what I could do. I thought if I can help one person, that person can possibly help other people and those people will carry the wave further out in concentric circles.
With this in mind, I volunteered with TGR Foundation to be a mentor.
It was March 11th when my family and I were sitting in the Orlando airport waiting to catch a flight back home from Disney World where we had just spent the past five days for spring break. When we left home on March 5 there were 159 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. I watched […]
As I packed the rest of my belongings for spring break, I crafted a vision in my head of my final semester at Skidmore College: sun-bathing on the Case Green, fun nights spent downtown with friends, presenting my senior thesis at Academic Festival, weekend trips into town for brunch, late-night crams at Scribner Library and so many more treasured “lasts,” as I got ready to move on with the rest of my life.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my final moments on campus would be taken away and I would move out two months earlier than expected. During spring break, Skidmore College followed several other universities across the United States and the world in announcing it would be moving to remote instruction for the rest of the semester in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
I was next in line to speak at the Earl Woods Scholar Winter Workshop graduation luncheon, celebrating my cohort, the class of 2020. Nervous yet excited, I repeatedly ran through my lines in my head in anticipation. Yet, when the time came to deliver my speech, thanking the people who had shaped my journey with TGR Foundation, as I began to thank my mentor, I was surprised to hear my words deviate from the script. “Bill, we are a match made in heaven.” This impromptu phrase easily became my favorite.
My first contact with my mentor William (Bill) Borges hadn’t been as an Earl Woods Scholar. Bill was there from the very beginning, participating in my group interview for the scholar program back in high school. It was humbling to reflect on how much time had passed since then, and I felt satisfied that I could verbalize it with such an appropriate phrase, as though it were the natural culmination of our time together.
When I count my blessings, I count Brian Fredrick, my Earl Woods Scholar mentor, twice. I don’t quite know the process that the TGR Foundation used to match me and Brian up, but ever since we were introduced to each other the summer before my freshman year at Lehigh University, we have connected. Brian was not only interested in knowing me and my aspirations as a first-generation college-bound student, he was also eager to meet my family and see how they fit into the picture. I appreciated his eagerness to involve my parents in this process and learn a thing or two about my Ethiopian culture.
TGR Foundation kicks off each year with Winter Workshop, a signature event of the Earl Woods Scholar Program that unites students, mentors and friends of the foundation at the flagship TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, CA. A reflection of the program’s growth over the last ten years, this year’s event saw record attendance Thursday, January 2 – Saturday, January 4.
Through a host of scheduled personal and professional development workshops, the program prepared underclassmen college students for success during their year ahead and celebrated with seniors that will graduate in the class of 2020 during a luncheon on Friday afternoon.