Coach Joe’s Passion and Energy is Contagious

Joe is a staple of our organization and a true role model for our participants. He is one our Program Coordinators and excels in his many roles. He creates online resources, tracks and provides coaching and guidance for our community program working with our 20 outreach school partners.  He collaborates with our team on curriculum enhancement and class coordination. Additionally, Joe is an outstanding coach. He is a Level II First Tee Trained Coach which means he attended two national coach trainings that helped develop and refine his coaching techniques. Beyond his training, he is a natural as a coach and as a mentor with participants. Joe began our program in 2007 and participated in classes for 4 years. He reached back out to us in 2019 and started as an instructor. His talent with people and his work ethic made our decision to increase his role to Program Coordinator a no-brainer.  Over the last 3 years he has coached hundreds of participants and you can now find him coaching at Rancho Del Pueblo and Gavilan Golf Course. “First Tee has really earned a special place in my heart,” says Joe. “Having the opportunity to spend my days out in the sunshine teaching kids how to be better, kinder people is something I’m truly grateful for. I’m proud to say that I belong to an organization like this one.” In addition to working with us he is finishing up his major in Economics at San Jose State University. He has taken over our outreach reporting, tracking using the skills he is learning at SJSU. According to Program Director Chris Moreno-Hunt, “We are so fortunate to have Joe on the team. His energy, intelligence, forward thinking, and passion to help others is contagious. His personality welcomes everyone and people naturally gravitate towards him. We ask a lot from him as it relates to curriculum enhancement, videos for parents, outreach and class coordination, and coaching, but he consistently goes above and beyond his responsibilities. In a business predicated on giving back and building relationships, he is perfect for the job. Luckily for us he is on our team and everyone in our program is better off for it! Thank you Joe! If you would to learn more about joining our coaching team, click here to get started.

Join the Caddy Club – Don’t Miss Out on PGA Championship Competition

Together, Building Game Changers! Our kids and teens are facing challenges unseen by previous generations. Many lack access to safe opportunities that foster a culture of acceptance and provide mentorship. They live in a world where social pressures are always on, calm and confidence are hard to access, and perseverance is a required superpower every day. Young people are growing in new environments that are demanding more from them, and therefore more from First Tee – Silicon Valley and from the golf community. How You Can Help Youth Development through Golf FTSV exists to enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry in everything they do. With the belief that ALL kids deserve the chance to grow in a supportive environment with mentors guiding them. We are dedicated to building golf programs that are accessible, welcoming, and as impactful as they are fun. Who You Will Be Helping FTSV on-course participants:
  • 85% racially diverse
  • 80% achieve all A’s and B’s in school
  • 100% certifying youth graduate from HS
  • 100% Ace top level teens go to college
Why FTSV Needs Your Help
  • Our FTSV chapter lacks the financial support of First Tee National and PGA TOUR tournaments. We are 96% locally-supported.
  • The pandemic diverted much of FTSV’s funding to essential services and large fundraisers had to be scaled back.

Register to Play or Sponsor the Open

First Tee – Silicon Valley is excited to announce the return of the Open Scramble Golf Tournament on Friday, June 11th at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club with a 12pm Shotgun. Registration for foursomes, twosomes and sponsors is available now. The Open is our largest fundraiser tournament so we are pleased to resume it after having to take a year off due to the pandemic. Gather your clients, co-works and friends for a great day of golf and camaraderie for a great cause. Proceeds will help us impact the lives of youth by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. We believe that all kids deserve the change to grow in a supportive environment with mentors guiding them. We are dedicated to building programs that are accessible, welcoming and as impactful as they are fun. There are various ways to support the Open: $20,000 Presenting Sponsor (Registration & Raffle) – co-branded logo on website, socials, newsletters, flyers, signage; full page ad in program plus three foursomes $10,000 Hosting Sponsor (choice of Lunch, Snacks, Beverage) signage on 3 holes, logo on website, newsletter and program plus two foursomes $5,000 Contributing Sponsor – signage on 2 premium contest holes, program logo plus one foursome $2000 Foursome or $1000 Twosome Sponsor – 18-holes golf, individual cart, boxed lunch, tee prizes, on-course beverages and snacks, contests, 10 raffle tickets per player $1000 Hole Sponsor – signage on one hole and program listing Please contact our Development Director, Judy Dixon Deaton 408-508-4881 – [email protected] for additional customized sponsorship or underwriting opportunities. All CA and golf course health and safety protocols will be followed. There will be no large dinner awards gathering post tournament. All donations will be collected in advance to create a low contact event.

Showing up for Others

How do you approach helping others? How do you know when others want or need help? What does it mean to be a leader? These are all questions that the participants get asked through their time in First Tee – Silicon Valley. As participants progress through the program, they learn lessons which reinforce courtesy, build a process for making informed decisions, develop collaborative communication skills, and encourage the practice of learning through listening and asking questions. One of the sincerest forms of respect is actually listening to what another person has to say. Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, empathy over ego, and others over self. ALR (Ask, Listen, Respond) is a core lesson taught in the Par level which teaches the importance of listening. It is a communication tool that encourages asking open-ended questions with the intent of fully understanding. To be successful with a conversation one must let the “A” and “L” drive the responses, and from a coach’s perspective, drive the advice that is given. Being a leader and showing up for others does not necessarily mean telling people what to do, but instead it is knowing when to listen and how to ask questions. We are fortunate to have around 45% of our volunteer coaches come from our program and want to give back as a coach/mentor. Our junior coaches and alumni are able to use the tools they learned to make an impact, but as activist and author Marge Piercy says, “if you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.” Showing up for others includes more than coaching and giving back, it can be demonstrated by anyone with the willingness to build a connection, be a teammate, and make a friend. Over 74% of participants in our most recent survey said they made friends and 89% felt part of the group. We can show up for others and help them show up for others by continuing to work towards an environment where everyone feels encouraged to support one another and be part of the group. Join our team to “show up for others” by visiting our volunteer page, or sign up for our program to build the skill set necessary to be there for others.

Hooray for Caddy Club Supporters!

Caddy Club Members are essential to creating a sense of community support to further the mission of FTSV. Here’s a big shout out to the 230 individuals supporting us as monthly or one-time donors in our 2021 Caddy Club Donor Appreciation Program. One of the benefits of membership is the Caddy Club Majors competition which kicked off today with the Masters – the first of the 4 Major tournaments in addition to the PGA Championship (May 17-23), US Open (June 14-20) and Open Championship (July 12-18). Members can join at any time. Caddy Club Appreciation Program also includes these benefits:
  • Welcome token to proudly display at home or work showing your support
  • Invitation to participate in our fun Caddy Club Majors competition
  • Invitation to attend our quarterly Open Houses
  • Invitation to play with participants in our quarterly participant Tournaments
  • Invitation to our Caddy Club Champions gathering
Supporter help our participants navigate on and off the golf course. Each individual who commits to a $20+ monthly gift for at least 12 months (or $250+ one-time annual gift) will immediately become part of our Caddy Club and receive special thank yous and invitations to our donor appreciation events. Every $250 cumulative donation you make allows us to offer financial aid to a new under-served, at-risk participant to attend an 8-week class. We need your support to sustain our financial assistance, programs and staff during these challenging times to continue helping all participants regardless of background be the best versions of themselves and have the best shot at success.    

Coach Matt – Caring for Others

Meet Coach Matt. He has been a staple at First Tee – Silicon Valley for 9 years and played an integral role in making the program what it is today. He thrived in his roles within the organization starting as a volunteer coach and excelling as a Program Instructor, Program Coordinator, and Program Manager. “First Tee means family, growth, and happiness to me,” says Coach Matt. “FTSV has introduced me to wonderful people and helped me form indispensable relationships. The endless fulfilling path of coaching tools, philosophies, and conversations have helped better the lives of my students and myself! It is rewarding see these principles applied to help others experience success and joy. FTSV has helped me become a better person and spread blessings to other people.” “Matt’s shining quality is he cares about others,” says Program Director, Chris Moreno-Hunt. “Anyone who has taken his class, chatted with him, or worked with him feels his passion for teaching and empowering everyone to be better versions of themselves. He sees the good in everyone and his infectious positivity and drive to make a difference is, to quote him, truly ‘inspirational.’” Matt is a talented coach who has dedicated much of his time to teaching and building ideal learning environments. In his time with FTSV he played an instrumental role in helping our participants get accepted to national opportunities and scholarships. Additionally, he helped shape our program, and positively impacted thousands of individuals, from participants to parents, volunteers to lead instructors, and office staff to our Board. The world is a better place with Matt in it. We are grateful he is with us and continuing to positively impact the youth in our community. To join our team of coaches like Matt please contact us by filling out this form or contact us at 408-508-4880, [email protected]

13 FTSV Participants Compete for National Opportunities

13 Ace participants from our chapter were selected to apply for this year’s national First Tee participant opportunities. The 13 were selected based on their activity/engagement in our chapter, their grade, and active duration within the program. Only active Ace participants (our highest level) were able to apply for scholarships and national opportunities. The national opportunities include FT Game Changers Academy, First Tee Innovators Invitation, Pure Insurance First Tee Open, John Deere Drive Your Future Academy, First Tee National Championship, and the First Tee Leadership Summit to name a few. These opportunities are scattered around the country ranging from Montana to Monterey, from Illinois to South Carolina. Additionally, we had a few participants apply for national scholarships like the First Tee College Scholarship Program, and the John Deere Power Four Good Scholarship. Only a few are eligible to apply for each opportunity and selections will take place throughout the year. Applications include submitting their school resume, extracurricular activities, golf activities, together with essay responses and letters of recommendations. The application process is rigorous and our participants are competing with top participants from around the country for a small selection of slots. “They have worked hard to showcase their outstanding accomplishments and illustrate the impact First Tee – Silicon Valley has had on their lives” says Program Director, Chris Moreno-Hunt. “We wish them luck and are keeping our fingers crossed they get selected. Regardless of the result we are proud of who they are and the work they are putting into the applications and in our program.” To learn more about the national opportunities as well as our local and regional opportunities please visit our youth opportunities page or call 408-508-4880.

Curriculum Sneak Preview Videos – Go-to-Person

There are times where someone we know struggles to take on a burden alone.  We all eventually experience a situation where our family or close friends need us for comfort, advice, or reassurance.  How we respond in these scenarios can be crucial to their development and ability to overcome a challenge. Now is always the perfect time to become a Go-to-Person!  What does it mean to be a Go-to-Person and how can we be a good Go-to-Person?  This brief First Tee – Silicon Valley Eagle lesson video will give you a glimpse into the importance of being a part of a support network, how you can approach being a good go-to-person, and how being go-to-person can help us in golf as well as in our everyday lives. Go To Person Video The golf community includes a culture of assisting one another. One way to build upon that culture is to connect with others through the sharing of course knowledge, self-management tips, and golf techniques.  Sharing simple golf tips like our golf cue phrase (click the link below), “shaking hands with the coach and elf” can be used to assist people in controlling their distance. You never know, helping someone with a swing tip can be a great start to a budding friendship and a bond for life. Handshake Video

Support Financial Aid by Joining the Caddy Club

Together, Building Game Changers! Our kids and teens are facing challenges unseen by previous generations. Many lack access to safe opportunities that foster a culture of acceptance and provide mentorship. They live in a world where social pressures are always on, calm and confidence are hard to access, and perseverance is a required superpower every day. Young people are growing in new environments that are demanding more from them, and therefore more from First Tee – Silicon Valley and more from the golf community. Youth Development through Golf FTSV exists to enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry in everything they do. With the belief that ALL kids deserve the chance to grow in a supportive environment with mentors guiding them. We are dedicated to building golf programs that are accessible, welcoming, and as impactful as they are fun. Who You Will Be Helping FTSV on-course participants:
  • 85% racially diverse
  • 80% achieve all A’s and B’s in school
  • 100% certifying youth graduate from HS
  • 100% Ace top level teens go to college
Why FTSV Needs Your Help
  • Our FTSV chapter lacks the financial support of First Tee National and PGA TOUR tournaments. We are 96% locally-supported.
  • The pandemic diverted much of FTSV’s funding to essential services and large fundraisers had to be scaled back.
How You Can Help

Personal Growth through Golf

Golf is a metaphor for life. It’s not the score that counts, but what you learn along the way. As in life, golf requires goal setting, working with others and digging deep when things get tough (perseverance). Golf is a perfect practice ground for learning skills that go far beyond the fairways.
  • Golf focuses on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the course
  • Golf puts emphasis on setting goals and making goals a reality
  • Golf helps us learn conflict resolution, resilience and how to plan for the future
Golf legend Bobby Jones said it best, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.” First Tee – Silicon Valley is a youth development organization that enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, we create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do. We utilize golf as a powerful vehicle, but do not define our success by how well kids play the game. We focus on the deeper side of golf more than the technical and prioritize personal growth of kids. If we do our job well, the game of golf will inherently benefit as we develop lifetime golfers of all levels. Kids become a better version of themselves when they have the space to be who they are, surrounded by passionate people who guide them to see what they are capable of. Our trained coaches create safe, supportive and empowering environments to help our kids prepare for life ahead, including friendships, school, college and even their careers. FTSV is committed to having a safe and welcoming environment for everyone involved in the organization. As part of our commitment, all employees, coaches and volunteers must complete a background check before working with our youth. Plus, all employees, coaches, volunteers, and board members are required to complete the U.S. Center for Safe Sport training program.

SVB Foundation to the Rescue

The SVB Foundation recently awarded FTSV a $6,500 base grant plus an additional $2,500 for COVID hardship, totaling $9,000. The SVB Foundation is currently focusing on partnering with employees who regularly volunteer to award grants to non-profit organizations that are most impacted by the current pandemic. Reka Mishra, SVB Financial Group Managing Director (Strategic Initiatives and Quick Wins, Transformation Office) was recruited to join FTSV’s Board in 2019 to be instrumental in providing leadership in the areas of STEM programming and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Reka shared, “I was drawn to their mission to develop youth throughout Silicon Valley, transforming their lives and giving them a brighter future. Being an advocate for STEM, I consulted on their innovative platform to offer under-served youth the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally while exposing them to STEM concepts for improved career choices. I am also proud to serve an organization that holds DEI at the core of their identity and ensures it is part of our culture and present in all aspects of our business.” The $9,000 grant will underwrite expenses for items related to COVID-19 Health & Safety Procedures that address sanitizing guidelines and social distancing protocols at our 3 golf course facilities and office, so we can continue offering classes for our youth participants, many underserved. FTSV has COVID-19 Class Safety Procedures that address safety/sanitizing guidelines and new check in, warm ups and class curriculum with social distancing in mind. “Dealing with Challenges” and “Playing with Perseverance” are two of our 27 core lessons that are very relevant during this unprecedented time. It is noteworthy that what we teach the young people in our program applies well beyond golf to other parts of life including how we as individuals, families, organizations, and communities make the best of a public health crisis. We work or volunteer for FTSV because we enjoying helping all participants regardless of background be the best versions of themselves and have the best shot at success. Our diversity, empathy and inclusion (DEI) efforts are not a project, program or series of events, but an expression of who we are and a purposeful process to ensure our mission is fulfilled. Thank you SVB Foundation for providing the necessary funds so we can purchase supplies needed for our 2021 classes. Your grant will allow us to continue providing our youth development program which enable kids and teens to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges by seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills. For more than 35 years, SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB) and its subsidiaries have helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB Financial Group’s businesses, including Silicon Valley Bank, offer commercial and private banking, asset management, private wealth management, brokerage and investment services and funds management services to companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity and venture capital, and premium wine industries. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, SVB Financial Group operates in centers of innovation around the world. Learn more at svb.com.

Coach Rob – Making a Difference for 20 Years

Meet Coach Rob Sisco. He officially joined our First Tee – Silicon Valley coaching staff in 2014. However, Rob’s connection to FTSV extends all the way back to our origins and the Eagles at Rancho Junior Golf Program in 2000. (Eagles became First Tee – San Jose in 2005.) Both of his sons participated in Eagles and then our program through high school, so Rob certainly understands FTSV both as a coach and as a parent. “FTSV changed my life,” says Coach Rob. “Understanding how much the juniors look up to the coaches and how much of an effect we have on their lives. Spending time on the course with the participants is something I look forward to every week. The highlight of my day is when I see a participant hitting a great shot, smiling and feeling like they are succeeding. I enjoy helping the participants succeed in life and golf and I know these skills will help them become successful adults.” Coach Rob has been a committed, impactful, and skilled coach. He has attended the national trainings, coached many of our FTSV levels, and delivered values, mentoring, and instruction to hundreds of participants. “Rob has been an active coach every year, and every season bringing a high level of knowledge to his students and to our team,” says Program Director, Chris Moreno-Hunt. “Coach Rob has positively impacted so many individuals (participants and coaches) over his years of service. His love for the game and the values that the game espouses shines through in his coaching and is infectious. We are grateful to have Coach Rob on our team!” “I am deeply appreciative of Coach Rob’s dedication to FTSV and its participants.” says President & CEO, George Maxe. “Rob is one of the key individuals surrounding FTSV and Rancho del Pueblo Golf Course who provide perspective and continuity because of his presence for more than 20 years.” Interested in making a difference like Coach Rob? Please visit our volunteer page or call 408-508-4880 to learn more about becoming a coach.