A College Experience

Going to college was one of the best experiences of my life.  It was a hugely transformative period of time, and I had a blast at the University of Oregon (GO DUCKS!).  I have also seen the positive impact a college degree has on life and career.  So, I suppose that’s partly why I’ve been very passionate since I graduated about helping others realize a similarly impactful college experience.

Back in 2004, my lovely wife Rachelle and I joined a mentoring group in South Central Los Angeles called the Youth Leadership Program to mentor high school students for their 4 years of high school to help them gain access to college.  All of our students who worked their way through the program would become the first in their families to attend college.  It was amazing.

It was after the Volunteer Encounter that, I realized I wanted this type of volunteer work to be an ongoing part of my life.  It was also there in that program that I met Andy Seth, and the course of my professional life would be altered for the better from there forward.  Funny how things work out like that.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Prior to my college experience and helping others realize a college experience of their own, I spent a decent portion of my childhood playing golf with the best custom golf shoes and grew to very much love the game.  I took a hiatus from the game after playing competitively on my high school team for a few years, and picked it back up with a passion when my family and I planted ourselves in Colorado 4 years ago.  Since then it’s become a borderline obsession, but I digress.

Side note, if you have any affinity for golf and haven’t seen the movie “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, I strongly urge an immediate viewing.

Little did I know that these two passions – college experience and golf – would find magical harmony together……

When Passions Collide

A few weeks ago, I put on a charity Golf Tournament for the 3rd consecutive year for a program called Minds Matter.  Minds Matter is a high school mentoring program originally started in New York City several decades ago that has been growing here in Denver for going on 10 years now and has chapters in 11 US cities.  The program enjoys a 100% success rate of helping high-potential, low income students gain access to college with scholarships, helping to alter the course of their lives and the disrupt the cycle of poverty that many of them would not otherwise break out of.

This year’s tournament was special, as we raised an incredible record breaking $43,000 to directly benefit the mission of helping more kids realize their college dream.

To me, this experience has shown yet again how impactful an endeavor can be when it combines and feeds off of the passions of the people involved.  I’m already fired up for next year’s tournament, and it’s still 11 ½ months away!

What is it you are passionate about?  How can you harness that passion to make a difference?