This month, we’re catching up with participant Logan Lurie, a sophomore at Howard High who, in addition to playing at the ACE-level, mentors several First Tee classes, takes part in the LPGA e-Leader program, and chairs the Teen Advisory Board.Q: How long have you been participating in The First Tee? A: I have been a participant for seven years. Q: Do you play any other sports or participate in other extra-curricular activities? A: I am a second year member of the Women’s Varsity Golf Team at Howard High. I qualified to play in the County and District Tournament this year. I am also in the Best Buddies Club, the Jewish Student Union club and a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the Math Honor Society. In the spring, I will be a mentor for Allied Golf (a program co-sponsored by The First Tee and Howard County School System). Outside of school activities, I am a member of BBG (B’nai Brith Girls), a Jewish youth group. In the past, I have held a variety of board positions. On the weekend, I work as a Teacher’s Aide at Beth Shalom Congregation Religious School. Q: Tell me about the national opportunities you’ve participated in through The First Tee. A: Last summer I was selected to attend the First Tee National Opportunity: USGA Learning Science through Golf Academy in New Jersey. During the five days, I worked with USGA engineers and scientists to design, build and test a device to measure green speed, visited the USGA Museum, visited Rutgers University Turf Management program, and had behind-the-ropes access at the LPGA US Womens Open. During the time there, we also met with the USGA interns in accounting, sports management, marketing and advertising to learn all about the different career opportunities in the golf industry. We also went to Top Golf one evening as an opportunity to interact with the other participants in a fun way. I met a lot of participants from all over the country and learned about their First Tee chapters. Q: Tell me about your project with The First Tee and Girl Scouts. A: In October, I was selected to attend the Outstanding Participant Leadership Summit (OPLS) in Orlando, FL. When I was accepted as one of the 28 selected, I had also been chosen as one of the top eight finalists for the Outstanding Participant Award. During my four days, we had sessions with a variety of golf and leadership presenters including the new First Tee CEO, Keith Dawkins; Annika Sorenstam; Steadman Graham; and First Tee alumni who were participating in the First Tee Alumni Summit at the same time. As a finalist, I was assigned one of the Nine Core Value to speak about at the final night gala. Former President George Bush gave the opening address and I spoke in front of 1,000+ attendees at the First Tee National Meeting. As part of the OPLS selection process, a community service project is required. My project is a Girl Scout /First Tee program. I am developing a golf component to earn the Brownie Girl Scout Fair Play merit badge, which will include a workshop with local Brownie Troops. It will help them complete the steps to earn the badge and expose them to the Life Skills and Nine Core Values of The First Tee. Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from your experience with The First Tee? A: The greatest lesson The First Tee has taught me is how to have confidence in my actions. I actually spoke about confidence in my OPLS speech because I think The First Tee has helped me to be so much more confident. When I started The First Tee, I was very much like many young girls I see when mentoring: quiet and intimidated by others. However, through my years in The First Tee, I have been taught confidence in every activity. Starting by having to shake each other’s hands, I have been taught how to not be scared of situations even when they are not familiar. This helped a lot when attending these two national opportunities. I did not really know anyone going into either National event, but with the confidence I have gained from The First Tee, I was able to attend and enjoy both of these opportunities no matter how new the situation was. Q: How do you think being a participant in The First Tee may impact your future? A: Being a participant in The First Tee has taught me the value of volunteerism, which I think I will carry with me into the future. Through the Ace program, I have been mentoring younger classes of students. Seeing younger students enjoy the game of golf as much as I do makes me want to continue mentoring. I spend almost every spring day at the course mentoring, volunteering with the National School Program’s Champion Challenges, and Allied Golf. Volunteering has helped me to pass on my love for the game to different groups of people, which I find very rewarding. I think because the idea of giving back is such a large part of The First Tee that I will continue volunteering throughout my lifetime. Q: What would you tell other teens (especially girls) about why they should consider participating in The First Tee? A: I would tell any teen, especially any teen girl, to get involved in The First Tee as fast as they can, no matter their golf experience or age. The First Tee has an impact on your life that no other activity can have on you. The First Tee teaches you and makes you live by Life Skills like Confidence, Perseverance, and Integrity that no other program or sport can. You should definitely consider participating because the national opportunities are an incredible way to meet your next best friends who love the same activities you do and you will make connections with people that you would have never meet. I might be a little biased, but joining The First Tee will probably be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Q: Anything else you would like to share? A: The First Tee has given me a community that I know I will be a part of for the rest of my life. I have seen first-hand how many cool opportunities The First Tee has given me, my sister, and my friends and I hope I can stay involved to help give the same opportunities to help children to come. I am very thankful for all of the experiences, friendships, and lessons I have gained from this amazing organization and I hope I can continue this program.