NORTON, Massachusetts – Three First Tee – Massachusetts participants have been selected to attend national leadership development opportunities this Summer, including Kyzar & Keira Joshi (Ashland, MA) and Christopher Taylor (Boston, MA). The Joshi twins will be attending the inaugural First Tee Leadership Academy in Atlanta, GA in June, while Taylor will head to Montana for the 2023 First Tee Leadership Summit in August. Both the Academy and the Summit are presented in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstores.
The Leadership Academy will feature 48 teens from PGA TOUR Superstore markets across the country who have previously completed a 5-week Leadership Series locally in conjunction with their respective First Tee chapters. The Academy will provide insight on how successful teams perform and will feature sessions on building diverse and impactful teams, developing authentic relationships and empowering others. Sessions will also feature an impressive schedule of guest speakers across the Arthur M. Blank Family of Businesses including executives from the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Participants will also experience the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta University Center and the Bobby Jones Golf Club.
The Leadership Summit is held at Arthur Blank’s West Creek Ranch outside of Bozeman, MT, and is designed for teens to explore leadership concepts including (1) building authentic relationships by developing awareness, (2) growing through challenge via positive risk taking, and (3) developing positive self-identity through dynamic outdoor and teambuilding activities.
“We are incredibly proud of these three outstanding individuals,” said Kyle Harris, Director of Operations for First Tee – Massachusetts. “Over the years I have gotten to know Chris, Kyzar, and Keira personally and I continue to be impressed with their growth and development as people. While they are unique as individuals, they all share the common trait of embracing and believing in what First Tee has to offer, then living out those values in their day-to-day lives on and off the golf course. They have represented our chapter in numerous local opportunities and on the national stage, and I can’t think of three more deserving participants to have selected for this year’s leadership development opportunities.”
Kyzar and Keira Joshi, 18, have been involved in First Tee – Massachusetts for more than 10 years at our Norton location, and recently completed their ACE level projects, the capstone of the First Tee experience. Each of them have recently taken their First Tee experiences to new heights with Keira finishing runner-up in the Golf to Paradise – First Tee Champions Challenge in Naples, FL this Winter. She was also selected to compete in the 2023 First Tee National Championship but due to scheduling conflicts will not be able to attend.
“I’m so excited to have been selected for the Leadership Academy in Atlanta!” Said Joshi “I’ve been hearing from Kyzar how fun Montana was last year, so I’m very eager to experience Atlanta. I’ve been in the First Tee for so many years and this is the first time I’ll be going to a national leadership summit so it means a lot to me to be able to go. As one of our last big First Tee events before we become alumni, I think it will be extra interesting for me and Kyzar to experience this together. I’m excited to connect with so many new people this fall, so I’m looking forward to learning things in Atlanta that will help me build new relationships at Hamilton.”
Kyzar earned an invitation to attend the inaugural Leadership Academy following his standout performance at the 2022 Leadership Summit in Montana, where his performance warranted selected into the First Tee College Scholarship Program. He will receive financial support as well as access to mentorship and professional development opportunities throughout his four-year collegiate experience. Both Kyzar and Keira Joshi will be attending Hamilton College and will play golf for the Division III institution.
Taylor, 15, has been a part of First Tee – Massachusetts at the Franklin Park location for seven years. He has also represented the chapter at several outreach and fundraiser events, including joining chapter staff to accept a USGA donation check on the field at Fenway Park. Taylor also gave a speech at the 2022 John D. Mineck Foundation event at Boston Golf Club about the impact First Tee has had on his life. Taylor, along with both Joshi twins, also served as a standard bearer at the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, MA.
“While I am in Montana I hope to build connections with my counterparts and also have a deeper understanding of First Tee’s core values in action” said Taylor, “Over several years I have been taught what the core values mean but experiences like this are important to live it. That being said, at the Leadership Summit I will be exposed to people who don’t just have a deep understanding of their own definition of the values that connect us, but a chance to share how we apply them to our everyday activities. I want to be able to take away the good habits they have built from their time being engaged with the game of golf and share the fun that we have together from our different parts of the country.”
First Tee – Massachusetts has now had at least one participant selected in each of the first three years that the Leadership Summit has been offered, including Christopher Towle (Boston) in 2021, and both Saidah DaSilva (Boston) and Kyzar Joshi in 2022.