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.
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.
Significant. That’s a word that really describes this year, for TGR Foundation and certainly for Tiger. Our work and Tiger’s success inspired members of our community, young and old, to think of new possibilities. There were many achievements that made 2019 significant.
When I was teaching there were distinct times of the year that kids exhibited high stress and anxiety as it relates to completing assignments. It was common to see students, usually in gifted programs, bogged down with the pressures of academia. We took it as a norm; school, studying and exams can be stressful. Today, however, many more students are feeling the pressures of school, which can be daunting and, for many, debilitating.
Educators have a moral duty to help the young people under their care learn to cope and thrive beyond merely achieving competency through their prescribed curriculum. There are many ways educators can motivate, reinforce and change the tide of mental health concerns among their students.
After being accepted into the University of California, Berkeley, the uncertainty Yeon Jin “Grace” Lee felt around her future at the university and in the United States dwindled as she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in engineering. From UC Berkeley to NASA, her education opened doors to ignite her career and help her reach higher to obtain a Master of Science in software engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. It was through this experience that she gained her green card and security in her place in America.
From South Korea to Southern California, Grace overcame obstacles in her path as an undocumented immigrant and achieved great success. We recently connected at the flagship TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, CA to reflect on her journey and how she’s using her platform and experiences to empower other students like her.
My love for theatre started when I was three or four years old and my godmother took me to see a musical, in my hometown of Boston, MA. I do not remember the name of the show or really what it was about, but I was fascinated by the colors and music. Something about seeing the performers act, sing and dance gave them this magical glow on the stage. My young and impressionable mind had concluded that to be so talented you had to have super abilities, and I knew I would be a part of that magic one day.
As a first-generation Mexican American, I felt intimidated and insecure about applying to college. My mom, knowing well that she could not guide us through the U.S. education system, connected my sister and I to programs that could give us the tools to achieve our academic goals. We joined the TGR Learning Lab, then known as the Tiger Woods Learning Center, in 2008.
I didn’t think much of the programs there – I was not necessarily passionate about STEM, but I was motivated to utilize the college preparation resources despite how confusing and overwhelming it all seemed at the time. It wasn’t until my last year at Savanna High School, in 2013, when I started volunteering at the Learning Lab, that I discovered the power of mentorship. Thanks to the unwavering encouragement of two long-time employees of the Learning Lab, Denisse Jover and Lea Segura, I was able to break out of my shell and gain confidence on my way to college.
International STEM Studio is an amazing initiative. I learned about it after the CEO of Soronko Academy, my boss, attended the inaugural training in 2018. She came back with a new perspective on how to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the academy and how to organize training of the trainer sessions to enable her to share the knowledge she had gained with others, who trained in different parts of Ghana. When she asked me if I would like to take part in the next cohort of the International STEM Studio, I jumped on board with excitement. I couldn’t wait for the growth in the knowledge I knew the training session would come with. I thought about my students, and I knew this was an opportunity to provide them with better education and guide them toward achieving their goals. On July 25th I embarked on a trip to the flagship TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, CA sponsored by the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to participate in International STEM Studio.