Finalists interviewed at Indian Hills Country Club
GLENVIEW, Ill. – Three students from the Kansas City area 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 Indian Hills Country Club in Mission Hills, Kansas, on Jan. 26.
Each caddie has a unique story that reflects the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.
All three caddied at Indian Hills Country Club and will begin college this fall as Evans Scholars, attending the University of Kansas in Lawrence. 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.”
Kaylee Elder of Shawnee attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, graduating early in 2022. In college, she plans to study interior design. She was introduced to caddying by her best friend and cousin, Angelina Lugo, who was also awarded the Evans Scholarship. At Indian Hills, she works both on the course as a caddie and in the restaurant as a server.
“I love how caddying because we get to work outside and keep moving. Not everybody can get a job as great as that,” she says. “Through caddying, I have had the opportunity to meet so many inspirational people.”
Frida Garcia-Gallegos of Kansas City is currently a senior at Bishop Ward High School. In 2017, she lost her dad to cancer. She was born in Mexico and will join her brother, also an Evans Scholar at Kansas, in being a first-generation college student, where she plans to study accounting.
“Working as a caddie has taught me a lot, not just about golf but also in what it takes to become successful in life,” she says.
Angelina Lugo of Lenexa attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, also graduating early in 2022. She was born in Portugal and was raised mostly by her grandparents when she moved to the U.S. In college, she plans to study architecture.
“Through caddying, I’ve learned that while staying motivated is tough, persistence is far more important,” she says. “The Evans Scholarship will help advance my learning and prepare me for my career.”
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.