The result of a partnership between the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation and the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund, Westchester Evans Scholars are chosen based on a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. Candidates must meet the qualifications of both organizations to earn the scholarship. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $125,000 over four years.
Michael Arteaga of New Rochelle, New York, is a senior at New Rochelle High School and caddied at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck. His parents, who immigrated from Mexico, instilled the importance of education in him at a young age. In the fall, he will begin college as a Westchester Evans Scholar at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, where he plans to study finance.
“During one of my first rounds at Winged Foot, I caddied for a bank executive who inspired me to study the stock market and the economy,” he said. “He also told me about his humble beginnings and that I could get everything I wanted in life if I put my mind to it and worked hard.”
Damian Capistran of New Rochelle, New York, is also a senior at New Rochelle High School and caddied at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck. In the fall, he will begin college as a Westchester Evans Scholar at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he plans to study mechanical engineering.
“The same determination I used to succeed as a caddie will help me become a successful mechanical engineer,” he says.
George Kane of Trumbull, Connecticut, attended Fairfield College Prep and caddied at Country Club of Fairfield. He is currently a freshman studying communications at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has been awarded the Westchester Evans Scholarship for three years.
“Caddying improved my work ethic and motivated me to chase my goals,” he said. “Every time I didn’t want to scale the final hill on the 18th hole or run up to a green with the bags on my back to pull the pin, I reminded myself how badly I wanted to earn the Evans Scholarship.”
Enzo Vera of Greenwich, Connecticut, is a senior at Brunswick School and caddies at Greenwich Country Club. In addition to holding three other jobs, Vero started caddying to financially help his single mother. In the fall, he will begin college as a Westchester Evans Scholar at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, where he plans to study business.
“Caddying has been a crucial part of making me reliable, independent and resourceful,” he says. “As I look to my future, I will use what I have learned on the golf course to chase my goals.”
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.
“We are excited to partner with the Evans Scholarship Fund to broaden the scholarship opportunities for our local caddies,” says John Connor, president of the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund. “This is an incredible achievement for the recipients whose lives will be transformed by this amazing program.”
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.
“Each student has demonstrated excellence in the classroom, on the golf course and in their communities,” said WGA Chairman Joe Desch. “We are thrilled for them to join an exceptional class of newly awarded Evans Scholars from across the nation.”
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.
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by more than 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.
To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit wgaesf.org.