New Ouimet Evans Scholars will begin school this fall

GLENVIEW, Ill. & NORTON, Mass. – Four students from the state of Massachusetts have been awarded the Ouimet Evans Scholarship, a full tuition and housing college scholarship for deserving caddies, following a selection interview held virtually on Dec. 19.

The students will begin college this fall as Ouimet Evans Scholars, attending one of the Program’s 24 partner universities nationwide. Decisions on awarded schools will be finalized by March 15.

The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund and the Evans Scholars Foundation annually co-sponsor the scholarships for caddies from the state of Massachusetts. They are awarded to applicants who meet the criteria of both organizations and demonstrate a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. The scholarship is valued at more than $125,000 over four years.

The four awarded include: Laila Baptiste of North Falmouth, Hayden Cusolito and Christian Sullivan of East Falmouth, and Khruanha Naiyanan of Ludlow. Laila, Hayden and Christian all caddied at Sacconnesset Golf Club in Falmouth.

Laila, a senior at Sturgis Charter Public School West, intends to study business. “The decision to become a caddie at the Sacconnesset Golf Club marked a turning point in my life,” she said. “With each loop, I dove headfirst into the world of golf, absorbing knowledge and skills. Beyond golf, I realized that my role as a caddie held a deeper significance. It was an avenue for me to demonstrate my unwavering dedication to my education and personal growth.”

Hayden, a senior at Falmouth High School, also intends to study business. “Throughout my three years of caddying, I have talked to cancer survivors, an African diamond mine owner, and a 13-year-old European Golf champion, just to name a few,” he says. “I have learned that no matter where I go in life, if I stay persistent and work hard, I will be successful. The stories of all the people I meet, who have all done very well for themselves, show that there is no cookie cutter path in life, and we must make the most of the situation we find ourselves in.”

Christian, also a senior at Falmouth High School, plans to study engineering. “I have learned invaluable life lessons through my interactions as a caddie. Over the years, the golfers have been generous, not only with their praise and tips, but more importantly, generous with their time and advice. Though I am their caddie, at some point during every round, it's as if the roles become reversed, and the golfer acts as my caddie in the game of life.”

Khruanha, a senior at Ludlow Senior High School, is originally from Thailand and caddied at Longmeadow Country Club. She intends to study biomedical engineering, with hopes to become a surgeon.

“My career ambitions would come later in my teenage years when my father was diagnosed with stomach cancer. For several years he would be in and out of the hospital, and had multiple surgeries,” she says. “I found out about CT scans, MRI, and PET scans. I learned these amazing devices were created by someone and used by surgeons to save lives. That was when I decided I wanted to major in biomedical engineering, to learn more about how these tools work and invent new ones that could help others.”

“We are proud of and congratulate the new Ouimet Evans Scholars for their work ethic and dedication as both caddies and students,” said Duncan Gratton, President of the Ouimet Fund. “The Ouimet Fund is proud to partner with the Evans Scholars Foundation to support young people who embrace the opportunity that caddying can offer them to change the trajectory of their life.”

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 1,130 caddies are enrolled at 24 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 12,040 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

Evans Scholars Selection Meeting interviews will continue nationwide through spring. When the 2023-24 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 340 caddies from across the country are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

“We are thrilled to welcome this new group of student caddies to the family,” said WGA Chairman Steve Colnitis. “Their dedication in the classroom, on the golf course and in their communities represents what our Program has been about since 1930.”