GLENVIEW, IL – Five students have been awarded the Westchester Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held Feb. 8.
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 in order to earn the scholarship. The Evans Scholarship is valued at an estimated $120,000 over four years.
Joshua Benitez of White Plains, New York caddied at Fairview Country Club. Joshua is the son of Peruvian immigrants and hopes to study engineering in college. He is currently a senior at White Plains Senior High School.
“Working as a caddie has prepared me for adulthood by providing an opportunity for me to manage my own finances, appreciate the value of work and see the importance of continuing my education,” Joshua says. “I’ve encountered immense amounts of generosity while caddying and I wish to one day have the ability to reciprocate that.”
Vincent DeFeo of Shelton, Connecticut caddied at Brooklawn Country Club. He plans to study sports management in college, and he is currently a senior at Shelton High School.
“Caddying has helped me mature and realize that we must strive through adversity,” Vincent says.
Christina Hughes of New Rochelle, New York caddied at Quaker Ridge Golf Club. She plans to study criminal justice and forensic science in college, and she is currently a senior at New Rochelle High School.
“I learn something new every loop,” says Christina. “Because of caddying, I have become a strong, independent, self-motivated person who owns up to mistakes and continues to grow. Not just in caddying, but in everything I do in life.”
Aliyah Thompson of Bridgeport, Connecticut caddied at Brooklawn Country Club. She is currently a senior at The Bridge Academy. Aliyah was raised by a single mother, and she plans to study pre-law in college.
“I’ve caddied for three years and have completed around 700 loops,” Aliyah says. “Being on the golf course has changed my life and has made me a more mature young woman.”
Chase Wirth of Milford, Connecticut caddied at Brooklawn Country Club. Chase plans to study commercial real estate and real estate development in college. He is currently a senior at Trumbull High School.
“Over the past four years caddying, I have walked over 400 miles with hundreds of different personalities,” Chase says. “Almost all these walks were with people who asked questions about my future, which afforded me the opportunity to start thinking about my career early on.”
The Evans Scholars selection interviews are being held with applicants nationwide through the spring. When the 2021-22 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 315 caddies from across the country 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.
“Our Westchester Evans Scholars are part of an exceptional incoming class of New Scholars from around the nation,” said WGA Chairman Joe Desch. “They represent what the Evans Scholars Program has been about since 1930.”
“The local Westchester Caddie Scholarship Fund Evans Scholars have been awarded a life-changing opportunity,” said Johanna Gavin, director of the Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation. “We are proud of their commitment to the hard work of caddying, the lessons learned through the game and their dedication to academic achievement.”
Currently, a record 1,070 caddies are enrolled at 21 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,500 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 nearly 35,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $17 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 2022, the BMW Championship will be held at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware, from Aug. 16-21.
To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit www.wgaesf.org.
To learn more about the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund, visit www.caddiescholarship.org.