As a returning fellow, I expected my experience this summer to be similar to last year, but it was even better.
This year we played a more pivotal role in the golf shop and became familiar with the advanced technology around the course.
My days usually started around 8 o’clock. We prepared bags for the early tee times and greeted the members as they arrived. After meeting and having conversations with so many members, I started to feel welcome in the Quaker Ridge community. Many remembered me from last year, and it was nice to catch up with the people who first welcomed me last summer.
My experience as a Quaker Ridge fellow was amazing.
I worked for Mario Guerra, the head golf pro. He and his staff were very welcoming, as were the members. I learned a lot on the job and had fun doing it.
Momentum Wednesdays, our weekly sessions run by Nancy Degnan, the program supervisor, and Brittney Benjamin, the program coordinator, were the highlight of every week. The guest speakers we had on these Wednesdays were amazing, and their advice was life-changing.
My days at Quaker Ridge started early in the morning. I would arrive at the maintenance building by 6:30am ready to work on the course.
My job was to help keep the course looking good. I enjoyed the still mornings because of the occasional wildlife sighting. I saw deer, hawks and rabbits and in general enjoyed the scenery while I worked. I filled divots, watered, raked bunkers and even learned how to use a leaf blower to keep tees and greens clear of debris.
Sometimes a maintenance emergency would require the attention of the supervisors. On the Saturday of my first week, for example, I helped fix a water leak on the fifth hole. We dug up the pipe and I learned a lot about PVC and plumbing.
This was my second year in the program, and it was extremely exciting. I met club members, employees and managers, and I reconnected with returning fellows and met the new ones.
First days always have a surreal feeling to them, don’t they?
Whether it’s the first day of school or the first day at a new job, they always seem to bring a familiar, stomach-twisting mix of excitement and nerves. That’s how I felt driving through the gates at Quaker Ridge and taking in the beautiful green landscape.
It was not my first day at the club, but it was my first day there as the Program Coordinator and a Momentum alumnus. (I worked with Chef Joe last summer as part of the inaugural class.) As nervous as the new Fellows might have been, I think I was about five times as nervous. I wanted everything to flow as smoothly as the plan that I put together with Nancy Degnan, my supervisor and mentor.
We are excited to introduce the young women and men from New Rochelle High School who have been admitted to the second class of Quaker Ridge Golf Club Fellows for the summer of 2022.
In their applications, these students said they were eager to work with mentors and learn more about educational and career opportunities. All of the students have an academic interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as in the arts – music, theater, photography and communication.
The fellows also shared their perspectives on making the world a better place, exploring and honing leadership skills, and developing personal strength and resilience. They are excited to meet the members of the Quaker Ridge Golf Club while working on their golf and tennis skills and making new friends.
We hope you and your loved ones are all healthy, happy, and enjoying the holiday season. We are thrilled to update you on Momentum. It’s been an incredibly successful year, and we are excited for what’s next. Without your support, we could not have accomplished any of this and we are so grateful. We hope you will consider renewing your support with a year-end gift to allow us to sustain and expand our program empowering youth through golf and education.
As a reminder, Momentum’s mission is to use the power of golf and education to help children reach their fullest potential. We are a nimble, collaborative group, and we feel very fortunate to be doing this important work. This year has been a great testament of our ability to deliver impactful programming that introduces young people to the game of golf and provides resources, networks and experiences that will help enrich society with a more diverse group of future leaders.
This Fellowship has been a great experience. I can confidently say that I learned several lessons in ways that I didn’t expect.
One of the most important lessons was patience. In the kitchen you always have something to do and everything is always moving. Despite the frenzied environment, you’ve got to be patient with what you’re doing and not always rush.
I work in the tennis department at Quaker Ridge, and the best part of this job so far has been the people. Everyone is very friendly, open, and welcoming. The positive energy that the tennis coaches bring every morning makes me excited to go to my internship.
I enjoyed getting to know all of the coaches. For example, Coach Raissa is currently majoring in psychology in college, which is my future major. She is a really great and fun person, and she even showed me some of the classes she was currently taking on the first day of my internship.