Finalists interviewed at Capital City Club
GLENVIEW, Ill. – Four students from Atlanta have been awarded the Evans Scholarship – a full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies – following a final selection meeting interview held at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 17.
The four students, who attend Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, have unique stories that reflect the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.
They will begin college this fall as Evans Scholars, attending either Northwestern University or University of Notre Dame. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $125,000 over four years.
“Each student has demonstrated excellence in the classroom, on the golf course and in their communities,” said Western Golf Association Chairman Joe Desch. “We are thrilled for them to join an exceptional class of newly awarded Evans Scholars from across the nation.”
All four student caddies participated in the WGA’s Caddie Academy, a summer job program that offers academically promising young students with financial need an opportunity to caddie and live in the Chicago area for the summer, with the goal of ultimately earning a full tuition and housing scholarship to college.
Samantha Junco of Forest Park, Georgia, will attend Northwestern University, where she will study neuroscience. She caddied at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois.
“Because of caddying, my communication skills have drastically improved, my anxiety has lessened, and I am more confident in myself and the abilities I possess,” she says. “I’m able to be more assertive and no longer shy away from leadership. I’ve built the heart and courage to be in new spaces that I didn't necessarily feel comfortable in.”
Irvin Sandoval of Tucker, Georgia, will attend the University of Notre Dame, where he will study accounting. He caddied at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Illinois.
“I have caddied for two years as part of the Caddie Academy,” he says. “Throughout my time, I have learned many characteristics that make up an Evans Scholar.”
Frederick White of Atlanta will attend the University of Notre Dame and plans to study marketing. They also caddied at Sunset Ridge Country Club.
“Through caddying, I have seen a side of life I doubt I would have gotten if I stayed in Georgia. Thanks to this great opportunity, I have been able to experience life by myself and become more independent, in addition to meet new people from around the country and building a sense of community I have never felt before,” they say. “This scholarship is not just a chance to get me into college, but a way to become a better version of yourself you could never imagine.”
Amelia Wilson of Stone Mountain, Georgia, will attend Northwestern University, where she will study art and psychology. She also caddied at Exmoor Country Club.
“Caddying helped me cultivate my potential and become the strong woman I am today,” she says. “Thanks to Caddie Academy, I was given the chance to grow on my own. I am the enthusiastic, confident and independent black woman who has grown to support herself and her community.”
Evans Scholars selection meeting interviews will continue nationwide through the spring. When the 2022-23 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 325 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. Known as one of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 1,100 caddies are enrolled at 22 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
“These young students represent what our Program has been about since 1930,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “We are proud to welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by nearly 36,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $15 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the penultimate PGA TOUR Playoff event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation. In 2023, the BMW Championship will be held at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois, from Aug. 17-20.