Mentor Spotlight: Meet Jeffy Chang

The mentors in First Tee – Silicon Valley are the most important part of the program. It is because of their care, time and effort that we are able to make an impact on our participants. This month, we would like to highlight one of our amazing mentors, meet Jeffy Chang.

Jeffy Chang is a shining example of the role models we are proud to call our coaches at FTSV. For Jeffy, respect is everything. For others, for surroundings, and for one’s self; respect is the foundation that we build our character upon. This foundation is what’s key according to Jeffy, and that “this foundation is how [our participants] are going to approach life…it’s what they build on as a person.” Helping to establish that foundation of respect is an emphasis of Jeffy’s. Talking to the participants lucky enough to work with him, it is clear he is having a very positive impact.

Jeffy started volunteering in 2017

After seeing the impact FTSV was having on his children in their first couple seasons, Jeffy wanted to help make that same impact on others. He noticed, “For my kids, it was a safe haven, and a place that was familiar.” Jeffy began volunteering and never turned back, accumulating over 1800 hours of service to date. He coaches up to 4 classes a week and serves on our Board of Ambassadors, while also working and being there for  his family. Once his kid’s started high school, they also joined as volunteer coaches, so now the Chang’s coach 2-3 classes every Saturday. First to arrive and last to leave on program Saturdays, the entire family puts all First Tee life skills on full display, positively impacting the supportive environment that exists at Rancho del Pueblo.

When asked about why they come back week after week, Jeffy said:

“When we were here on the weekends, I could sense more confidence in my kids. Saturday was their place; they knew how to interact and what to do. School is very different; you don’t see bullying at First Tee and it gives kids the space to grow and push themselves. When you push to challenge yourself, that’s that growth mindset.”

When talking to Jeffy, it’s clear that he sees the learning opportunities of First Tee going beyond what happens on the golf course. The learning doesn’t stop once the participants leave their session. These Life Skills will continue with them into all other aspects of their lives.

Jeffy has advice for parents of First Tee participants, saying:

“There are parents that think we need to just teach them golf, but all of our Life Skill behaviors/tips are things that should start at home; First Tee coaches just reinforce them. I encourage parents, if they aren’t going to volunteer, to please be involved in what we are trying to help their kids learn. It’s going to be that much more effective if you can talk with your kids at home about what they are working on in class and help continue that learning.”

Here at First Tee, we love talking with parents about the Life Skills that we are sharing in our sessions and how we would love to work more directly with them on ways to continue their kids’ learning outside of the golf course. All of the coaches are more than happy to check in. Let’s get to know each other better!

If you too would like to become more involved and make a positive impact on the kids in our community, please visit our website to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available. It is our mentors that make what we do possible. As the significant commitment of our awesome coaches like Jeffy reveal, the greater the involvement of high quality mentors, the greater the positive impact on kids.

Thank you, Jeffy, for all that you and your family give to our First Tee – Silicon Valley community, and thank you to all our First Tee – Silicon Valley mentors!

PUBLISHED: 03-14-2024