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Education and Academic Support / College Readiness and Retention

The First Tee of Metropolitan New York

In 2016, the foundation provided its third grant to The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, an academic program that uses golf as a motivator to improve student academic outcomes and college readiness. First Tee uses a structured curriculum of mentoring, skill development, academic support, and golf to build character and foster development among participating youth. First Tee provides supports aimed at high school graduation and college access and offers tutoring, workshops, SAT preparation, family engagement counseling, and visits to local college campuses.

The foundation supports the Ace Scholars program, a new partnership between Breakthrough New York (BTNY) and First Tee, with BTNY advising on the build-out of a college readiness framework for middle school students, with the goal of launching a structured tutoring and college prep model in-house at First Tee’s location in the Mosholu section of the Bronx. First Tee is piloting this focused, academic-based program for a group of youth in its golf program, adapting BTNY’s successful approach with a cohort of Bronx-based middle school students. These youth will comprise the core of First Tee’s program moving forward, serving as peer leaders for incoming students while receiving a full-service program in preparation for high school and college.

Another group of 20 students will receive weekly individualized tutoring with the expectation that as the more intensive Ace Scholars program expands, many of these youth will enroll in it. Another group of roughly 100 students will receive scholarships for First Tee’s expanded STEM summer camp model.