March 05, 2015

Where are they now? TWF scholars

Jenny Nguyen loves her role as a regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine and a communications specialist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. She and her work partner have just finished writing their first book together on hunting and preparing wild game, titled “Hunting for Food: Guide to Harvesting, Field Dressing and Cooking Wild Game.” It is set for publication in July by F+W Media. Nguyen believes the Earl Woods Scholarship Program aided her current life as she attended UCLA from 2008-2012.

How did the Earl Woods Scholarship Program open up new opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise experienced?
The program gave me the opportunity to work and interact with professionals in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. Program organizers took the time to teach me all the things that a young adult should know, but wasn’t taught in school or in many cases, at home.

I was taught basic skills, such as how to write my first resume, how to dress professionally, and how to conduct myself during interviews and formal social settings. My mentor, Paul Glowienke, was always a phone call away when I was in college and I still talk to him today. Interning with the communications team at the foundation was a fun and eye-opening learning opportunity.

I had the opportunity to attend and write blogs at golf tournaments and meet professionals in the media. Hanging out with AP golf writer Doug Ferguson and sports photographer Gary Newkirk on the golf course, and closely following Tiger’s progress inside the ropes, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What part of the program had the biggest impact on you?
I’m a visual learner, so having the chance to see what professionalism and success looks like and being able to interact with it, in a controlled setting, was something that made a huge impact on how I grew within the program. When I was ready to work, I knew not to cut myself short. Having the right attitude and confidence was already half the battle.

What are your fondest memories of being a Tiger Woods Foundation Scholar?
My fondest memories were the friendships I made. Learning table etiquette at the Anaheim White House Restaurant was also great fun.

Would your life be different if the program did not exist?
I wholeheartedly believe that my life would be different. Being forced to interact with different people helped me become more confident and comfortable in various social situations. I’m still an introvert, but meeting new people doesn’t scare me as much as it once did. I had the opportunity to get to know my program advisors more personally. In sharing their stories and struggles, I realized that no matter how successful or how experienced one can be, we are all human and we all have our moments of trial. I took comfort in knowing that. Suddenly, meeting someone in a suit and a corner office, or a stranger with a 12-gauge shotgun and a big dog on a quiet marsh was no longer frightening. It’s an important piece of knowledge that has drastically changed the way I interact with others.

For more information on the Earl Woods Scholarship Program, please visit the program website. Donate to the Tiger Woods Foundation’s college-access programs.