Being a caddy at the local golf course can be the perfect summer job for any teen. But did you know that in addition to making money, caddying can make your teen eligible for a scholarship through the Evans Scholars Foundation?
Headquartered in Golf, Illinois, the Western Golf Association has sponsored the nationally acclaimed Evans Scholars Foundation since it was founded in 1930 by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. The Foundation’s purpose? To provide scholarships to deserving caddies across the country who earn good grades, demonstrate financial need, display outstanding character and have a strong caddie record.
“The Evans Scholars Foundation is the nation’s largest college scholarship program for golf caddies,” shared John Kaczkowski, President and CEO of the Western Golf Association and Evans Scholars Foundation. “Each four-year grant is valued at more than $100,000 and covers full housing and tuition costs at a major university.”
To date, there are 10,617 Evans Scholars alumni and a record 965 Evans Scholars currently enrolled in 19 universities across the nation, including 14 where the Foundation owns and operates Scholarship Houses. “The experience of Evans Scholars living together in a Scholarship House makes this program particularly unique,” shared Kaczowski. “Students live and work together, with each chapter electing its own officers, running social and service activities and participating in campus programs.”
According to Kaczowski, Evans Scholars chapters have earned a reputation on each campus for scholastic achievement and excellence in academic service, with a 95% graduation rate and a cumulative GPA of 3.3. “Our Alumni have grown up to be successful teachers, doctors, lawyers and CEOs across the country and the world. As they achieve success in their own lives, they have been the first to step up to the tee in giving back.”
Since its inception, the Evans Scholars Foundation has become one of golf’s favorite charities and one of the main ways in which many golfers and country clubs across the nation give back. The Foundation has provided more than $365 million in tuition and housing costs with contributions from more than 30,600 donors nationwide, including Evans Scholars Alumni, as well as proceeds from the BMW Championship – the second oldest professional championship in the United States and the oldest on the PGA TOUR.
But with tuition rates on the rise, paying for college is becoming even more difficult for more families, resulting in a record number of applicants applying for the Evans Scholarship. The Foundation, however, is responding to this growing need. “To support an increasing number of students, we are partnering with new universities, opening new Scholarship chapters and working to grow the number of youth caddie programs nationwide,” said Kaczowski. “Our goal is to have 1,000 students in college by the year 2020, and we are well on our way to reaching that milestone.”
Evans Scholars Foundation applications are available online beginning August 1, and are accepted at the beginning of the applicant’s senior year of high school. Applications will also be accepted from 2017 high school graduates.
Not yet a senior? “We’re always looking to get more young people involved in caddying!” said Kaczowski. The Estancia Club in Scottsdale and Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree are two local clubs that have caddie programs affiliated with the Evans Scholars Foundation.
To learn more about The Evans Scholar Foundation and its unique opportunity for local teens, visit www.wgaesf.org.
Written by: Jodi Hale
Jodi Hale is an editorial/advertising assistant for North Phoenix Family Magazine as well as a freelance writer. The mother of three amazing boys ages 7, 13 and 15, she has served on the PTA board of their school for more than 8 years, collaborating with teachers, staff and community members to enrich the learning environment for all students through positive and engaging educational experiences. Jodi also volunteers as a public relations specialist for Musical Theatre of Anthem, promoting the theater’s year-round training opportunities and award-winning productions. She loves reading, free-hand drawing, creating props, and raising her boys to embrace life with purpose.