After years of reaching young people across the country through education and youth development programs, Tiger Woods challenged his foundation “to make bold choices, explore unchartered territory and reach millions of kids around the world.” Now in its 25th anniversary year, TGR Foundation has met his challenge and celebrates two million students reached.
“An unprecedented year”
We’ve heard that phrase many times this year, and although it’s a reflective sentiment for the pandemic, it’s also cause to acknowledge diversity, ensure equity and to seek inclusivity – individually and collectively.
TGR Foundation has learned a lot in 2020, and I am proud to share how we advanced our programmatic work in new and still impactful ways.
When she walked through the doors of the TGR Learning Lab (TGRLL) as a fifth grader, Amelie Jimenez knew she had found the perfect space to explore all her interests. Now a 17-year-old junior at Los Angeles Unified School District’s Bell High School in Bell, Ca, Amelie can’t imagine her educational journey without the support of the staff, teachers and classes that have shaped and guided her education journey. With plans of studying engineering one day, Amelie reflects on her favorite in-person and virtual classes, the lessons she’s learned from COVID-19 and why every student should participate in TGR Learning Lab programs.
Highlighting the contributions to the TGR Learning Lab’s Player Development Program for more than 12 years, TGR Foundation recognizes the ongoing contributions and partnership of the LA84 Foundation.
Led by Renata Simril, President and CEO, the LA84 Foundation and its sister charity The Play Equity Fund has impacted more than three million youth and their families over the last 30 years and continues to create opportunities, build positive youth development and transform lives through sports. With increased focus on the challenges of COVID-19 and the pursuit of social justice, the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund expanded its goals in 2020.
As the nation transitioned to social distancing and remote living in response to COVID-19, student learning was an important concern. Using more than 20 years of experience, TGR Foundation responded quickly and continued serving our community of students, educators and families.
As we reflect on our virtual spring and summer programs over the last five months, and head into a new academic year, we’re proud of what we have achieved and motivated to continue our efforts to empower youth through education.
When she’s not working toward her dream college and career Tanis Priddle, a rising senior at Eugene Ashley High School and the North Carolina School, can be found performing at an athletic event or varsity cheerleading competition for Eugene Ashley High School, practicing one of the many string instruments she plays or leaving Wilmington, North Carolina for a spontaneous travel adventure.
After learning about TGR Foundation’s virtual College Bound Academy, Tanis took advantage of the opportunity. She recently reflected on her experience and how it’s shaping her path to college and career success.
This year since the transition to remote learning, I’ve consistently read and heard about the failure of remote learning and how students will continue to fall further and further behind because teaching can’t happen without a classroom.
We are at an inflection point, one that challenges teachers, and everyone in education, to not succumb to the way things used to be, but instead, give voice and energy to what can be for each and every classroom around the country. Now is the time to create new spaces for learning – without fear of failure.
We encouraged our TGR Learning Lab educators to experiment during their summer virtual classes, and they learned seven practices that proved to be effective in remote learning environments.
A longtime TGR Learning Lab (TGRLL) student, 15-year old Nathan Zet is a familiar face at our flagship facility in Anaheim, Ca. Despite the recent shift from in-person classes to virtual learning due to COVID-19, Nathan has remained an equally dedicated student. A sophomore at John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, Nathan is the only student who participated in every TGRLL virtual summer class offered including Space Science, Photography: Visual Storytelling, Healthy Habits at Home and What’s “App”ening in Computer Science, in addition to taking virtual golf lessons. In an interview with TGR Foundation, Nathan reflects on his favorite classes, hobbies and his dream job.
I have been volunteering at the TGR Learning Lab since May 2016. Over the course of these four years, I have been able to meet wonderful people, as well as learn some new skills that I hope to use in my future career. I got involved in volunteering at the TGR Learning Lab through College 2 Career, a program at North Orange Continuing Education that helps students with disabilities get an education and find volunteering or employment opportunities. I have always known I wanted to work with youth. Thus, my job developer discovered the TGR Learning Lab and helped me apply. Once I began volunteering at the TGR Learning Lab, I kept returning because people there have accepted me for who I am, regardless of my disability. I have Cerebral Palsy, but that does not stop me from doing anything I want to achieve.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is Commencement. I love the pageantry, the music, the colors, seeing proud families cheering on their graduate and yes, I do cry at Pomp and Circumstance – every time. Commencement signals a rite of passage, and comes with a lot of hard work, sacrifice, sleepless nights and hope. For some this road of accomplishment represents a different kind of sacrifice, unique to those who will be the first in their family to graduate.
The Class of 2020 has achieved its success in the shadow of a world health crisis and the unsettling circumstances surrounding racial inequities. In the face of darkness, learning and education will always be a bright light.
Education has the power to be one of the greatest equalizers in our society. But the heartbreaking events of the past several weeks and the countless tragedies throughout history remind us that systemic racism is deeply rooted in all of our institutions, notwithstanding our education system.
As we close our offices today in observance of Juneteenth, the leadership at TGR Foundation is recommitting itself to not only do better but to do more in support of our Black and Brown students, colleagues and communities.
Every day at TGR Foundation we work toward our vision of a world where opportunity is universal and potential is limitless.
Our impact over the last 25 years has reached into deeply underrepresented communities of color. As we move through an unprecedented global pandemic and unrest over the recent tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many other members of the Black community that have come before them, our thoughts are with their families. Beyond our emotions, we offer our support and commitment to be a part of real change.
Many of us have heard “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” Going into my first day of high school, all I could think about was the destination – graduation night. However, being the oldest sibling also meant achieving this goal wasn’t just for me. I realized early on that I had to be the one to set the steppingstone for my younger siblings, show them just how important education is and what it means to have a high school diploma; graduating is the first step in doing so.
Losing the privilege of that special walk because of the COVID-19 outbreak took a good while for me to process.
TGR Foundation responds to COVID-19 with measures to protect the health and safety of employees, students and communities served through education programs. Click below to learn about its efforts from President and CEO, Rick Singer.
With more than 50 courses available for middle and high school students in the Expanded Learning Program, the flagship TGR Learning Lab provides exposure, preparation and skill development for the workforce of tomorrow.
Through the program Miguel Jimenez has gained more than opportunities to spend time with his friends and get help with his homework after school. He has developed skills in and outside of the classroom and connected his passions to potential career paths. He recently took a moment to reflect on his experience and plans for the future in a Q&A.
For junior golfer Vanessa Ngo, golf has always been more than a game. Golf has given her new friendships and lifelong memories while fostering in her a drive to succeed and a desire to give back. As a junior coach, Vanessa volunteers her time training beginner golfers as well as disabled adults and veterans. Her spirit of generosity doesn’t end there. Vanessa recently donated her tournament winnings to TGR Foundation. In an interview with the foundation, Vanessa speaks about her passion for the game and her commitment to giving back.
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.
The Genesis Invitational was designed with families in mind. With proceeds from the tournament benefitting TGR Foundation, the flagship TGR Learning Lab will bring the award-winning curricula and engaging activities designed at the lab to Family Village throughout the tournament. Located near three green and 15 tee, the onsite TGR Learning Lab powered by CDW, Microsoft Surface and Tech Fore! Kids has activities planned for youth of all ages.
Follow the five tips below to enhance your family’s experience at The Genesis Invitational.
With proceeds from The Genesis Invitational benefitting TGR Foundation, the flagship TGR Learning Lab will bring the award-winning curricula and hands-on activities to Family Village throughout the tournament. Located near three green and 15 tee, the TGR Learning Lab powered by CDW, Microsoft Surface and Tech Fore! Kids has activities planned for youth of all ages.
With educator professional learning programs a core initiative at TGR Foundation, the intended outcome has always been rooted in the idea of empowering educators to set up engaging, student-led learning environments in their own classrooms. While some specifics of our professional learning program, STEM Studio, have changed over the years, our approach of collaborating, celebrating and supporting educators to be their best selves for students, has emphatically continued. The TGR EDU: Create team is proud to introduce the next phase in this maturation of our professional learning, the Master Trainer Program.