Salma Rivera Awarded the Dennis Kettmann Memorial College Scholarship

First Tee Silicon – Valley participant Salma Rivera was recently awarded the 2023 Dennis Kettman Memorial Scholarship. Each year golfers in the Dennis Kettmann Memorial Tournament raise funds to remember Dennis. Their generosity underwrites this special $5,000 college scholarship for a FTSV chosen participant.

Dennis’s son and co-organizer of the Memorial Tournament, Matt Kettmann, learned the game from his father, Dennis, and knows that he must be smiling knowing that his memory is now helping FTSV’s young people pursue their college dreams. 

David Henningsen, who is also a co-organizer shared, “It was so wonderful to have the recipient of the “Big D” scholarship play in our tournament and speak to the supporters about how FTSV has impacted her.”

Meet Salma

Salma joined our program in 2018 and has been an incredible addition ever since. In her classes, she goes out of her way to build a tight knit, inclusive environment for her fellow participants by taking the time to get to know people. She is a great conversationalist who displays her care and consideration for others through thoughtful questions and responses. Salma is also a dedicated and invaluable volunteer, offering up her time to assist with all kinds of FTSV projects and events, and generally being a person who we feel lucky to have in the program.

Salma played in the Memorial Tournament and gave her speech at its conclusion. In her speech she said, “The First Tee curriculum focuses on building a positive self-identity by embracing your unique qualities and always striving to improve.  Thanks to First Tee and my coaches, I have been able to push myself to do much more than I thought possible, and they have pushed me to my stretch zone. My coaches taught me that even though it might be scary, I should always pursue opportunities and take on challenges, which is something that keeps me going.”

Salma went on to share about the impact financial aid has had on her and her family. She said “Both my sister and I are recipients of the financial aid program and we have had a great experience thanks to it. Us along with others I know, have been able to stay in the program, and have been granted local and national opportunities thanks to the financial aid program. I was able to go on my first plane ride to the Game Changers Academy in Philadelphia thanks to First Tee as well as earn this scholarship in order to be able to continue my education in college and be something greater in life. Other participants like my sister were able to join multiple academies in different states and got multiple scholarships because of the opportunities First Tee opened and she was able to get into one of the top ten colleges in the country.” The Dennis Kettman Memorial Scholarship has made a huge impact on Salma, as well as all the other previous recipients.

Salma has set “Outcome Goals” for herself of finishing high school strong and being accepted into college, and this scholarship has made that goal that much more reachable. She is grateful to be selected and said, “Thank you to the people of the DK tournament. Without the scholarship, a lot of us would not have the opportunity to go to college and succeed, and lot of us wouldn’t continue our education, so I am very thankful for the award. Thank you!”

Thank you to the Dennis Kettman Memorial Golf Tournament, and congratulations to Salma Rivera!

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