First Tee empowers 24 teenage girls through weeklong Academy made possible by John Deere

The national “Drive Your Future” event, held in San Francisco October 5-9, reinforces the organization’s commitment to empowering girls  

San Francisco – (October 2, 2023) – Twenty-four girls, ages 14-18, from First Tee chapters across the country are attending First Tee Drive Your Future Academy presented by John Deere in San Francisco, October 5-9. The all-female professional development academy focuses on empowering the girls to leverage opportunities available through their participation in golf and First Tee and recognize the importance of building a strong network.  

Throughout the weeklong academy, the girls will participate in interactive workshops, lead a volunteer experience, and hear from keynote speakers designed to inspire and help them as they plan for the future. Speakers, each who represent careers in STEM, include Susan Crickenberger, People & Operations at John Deere, Michelle Meyer, Managing Director of Supply Chain, Distribution & Logistics at CapTech, and First Tee alumnae Angelica Harris and Taryn Yee.

The event will be hosted at historic Lake Merced Golf Club where participants will build upon their connections and hear different perspectives from peers from around the country. Additionally, the group will have the opportunity to bond over inspiring and impactful experiences around the San Francisco area.

The event reinforces First Tee’s commitment to empowering girls through its programs, which are offered through 150 chapters in 1400 golf course locations. More than 80% of chapters offer dedicated programming for girls, intentionally inviting and engaging them in a variety of opportunities. Girls who stay in First Tee programs have the opportunity to apply for all national events, including Drive Your Future.  

“At John Deere, we run so life can leap forward,” said John Watson, project development manager, John Deere. “That includes partnering with organizations like First Tee to provide life-changing opportunities for today’s youth. It is an honor to continue the successful tradition of the Drive Your Future Academy and we are thrilled to support First Tee in developing the leaders of tomorrow.”  

The teens were selected for the Drive Your Future Academy through a national application process based on essays, letters of recommendation, and involvement in First Tee and other activities.  

“First Tee’s Drive Your Future Academy focuses on female empowerment and focuses on the leadership development of our young women,” said Jennifer Weiler, senior vice president of network relations at First Tee. “We are so grateful for John Deere’s support of this event and together, we are committed to building game changers.”

John Deere is a Trustee of First Tee and has supported the organization since 2012. 

First Tee is a youth development organization celebrating over 25 years of teaching life skills and helping kids and teens build their strength of character through golf. The First Tee Drive Your Future Academy made possible by John Deere is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.   


Megan Hart, First Tee   
[email protected]
(904) 940-4348