Golf tournament offers more shots to SIS grants

Inspirational Student Scholarship recipients Jocelyn Garcia (second from right) and Brittany Reyes (right) chat with GCU President Brian Mueller (second from left) and other team members direction Thursday at the first SIS Golf Classic.

Rick Vacek story
Photos of Ralph Freso
CUU Information Office

The first Students Inspiring Students Golf Classic proved that giving, gratitude and golf go well together.

Dr. Kale Gober, Director of Advancement, welcomed guests before the start of the tournament, which raised over $ 300,000 for the SIS program.

On a beautiful day in the neighborhood Thursday – the same neighborhood that is home to many recipients of the Grand Canyon University Full Scholarship – donors enjoyed the pristine fairways and greens of the GCU golf course and several students. SIS have been able to see how golf is played… or, in many cases, played poorly.

But it was all fun for a good cause. The event attracted all 36 teams and raised over $ 300,000, which is equivalent to adding 40 to 50 scholarships to the 545 that were awarded under a program that raised over $ 4 million .

“You look around the neighborhood and you see these kids are coming from here – that’s where the impact is,” said Dr Kale Gober, Director of Advancement at GCU. “There is no better place to host the inaugural tournament than here. “

David Adame, President and CEO of Chicanos por la Causa, looks at his photo.

GCU co-hosted the tournament with Chicanos por la Causa, and Pacific Office Automation was the title sponsor. The missions of the two organizations are perfectly in line with the President of the GCU Brian Muellerthe goal of 800 SIS recipients.

“It means a lot to our community,” Chicanos por la Causa, President and CEO David Adamé said to golfers gathered before the tournament. “It’s about giving an opportunity to people who would not normally have had this opportunity.

“This is the vision of Chicanos por la Causa – to empower lives. And in this case, we are going to allow young students to have a chance to get a great education in a great university.

Garcia and Reyes (left to right) enjoyed hanging out on the eighth tee.

The motto of Pacific Office Automation is “problem solved” and the regional vice president Adam pritchett sees the SIS program as a problem solver, that’s for sure.

“We are very proud to give back to our local community,” he said. “It is obviously an honor to be able to support such a good cause that GCU and CPLC support. They are able to catch those students who otherwise might not be able to get a college education. This cause is very important to us.

Eight SIS students were stationed, two each, on the course’s four par 3s to interact with the golfers and enjoy the perfect weather. It was also a perfect reminder of how much their life has changed in recent years – especially for seniors Brittany Reyes.

Garcia and Reyes (from left) also got the chance to do something they had never experienced: watch golf up close.

Just over three years ago, when she was in her final year at Apollo High School, Reyes was coming to campus when the van she was a passenger in was boned by a high-speed car in front of the GCU main entrance on Camelback Route. She was in a coma and in intensive care for two days, and when she came out she was disoriented.

“What happened?” she asked her mother.

“The accident.”

“What an accident? “

Miraculously, Brittany had no fractured bones even though the car struck her side of the car. She still doesn’t remember the collision, but it had a major impact on her life – she had planned to enter pre-med but instead moved on to a major in Christian studies.

The scholarship gave Reyes (right) a path to college, and then his near-fatal accident gave him a reason to change direction.

“I grew up a Christian, and it really changed my perspective,” she said. “I was like, ‘Well, life is short, and you never know.’ And there’s nothing I would love to do more than serve people and serve God.

The way it will serve has also changed. She originally wanted to become a missionary, but her Christian studies courses convinced her to aim for a master’s and doctoral degree. She would like to teach at the college level.

Reyes and his fellow spectator on the eighth hole, first year Jocelyne Garcia, are first generation students, typical of SIS beneficiaries. Garcia was resourceful in taking cosmetology classes while in high school at Metro Tech, and she plans to use her entrepreneurship degree to open a salon.

Derek Coles (back, left) and Kevin Nguyen (back, right) are grateful for the SIS scholarship.

On the other side of the route, the recipients of the SIS Derek coles and Kevin nguyen saw the game on the second green. They too have stories to tell.

Coles, a freshman, spoke of his goal of returning to his alma mater, Thunderbird High School, to teach after graduating from high school and history. The SIS scholarship allows this.

“It’s a total blessing,” he said. “I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who donated money to get me to the position I am in. It relieves our family. It really is.

Nguyen, who still can’t recover from the day he learned he got the scholarship, is studying criminal justice. It seemed long to me a few years ago.

Mueller’s goal is 800 SIS beneficiaries, and the program is already at about two-thirds.

“It allowed me to continue my studies,” he said. “There was a time in high school where I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to college, and they basically gave me that opportunity.”

Both got involved in campus activities. Coles is particularly fond of the Havocs and was in the student cheering section in the men’s basketball game the night before, and Nguyen is a huge fan of the GCU Esports Arena.

Mueller was talking about the SIS program when he said, “This golf tournament is going to help us keep this program going,” but it is more than education.

Opportunity… knowledge… campus activities… new life. Maybe some of them will even become golfers someday, and they might look back on a sunny day on the links and say that’s one more thing GCU has given them.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].


Associated content:

Press release: GCU and Chicanos por la Causa host the first edition of the Inspirational Student Golf Classic

GCU today: Grateful SIS scholarship recipients heat up the arena

GCU today: It’s all about the family for SIS scholarship holders

GCU today: SIS scholarship recipients are the pride of their parents

GCU today: SIS scholarships give hope to more families

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