First Tee Participant Earns Evans Caddie Scholarship

After three years and more than 50 circuits around Seattle Golf Club working as a caddie, Kevin Rini has been selected to be awarded an Evans Caddie Scholarship.

First Tee Evans Scholar

Rini, a senior at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School, is the first participant from The First Tee of Greater Seattle to be designated an Evans Scholar. His college scholarship for full tuition and housing starts this fall when he will be a freshman at the University of Washington.

“When I opened the acceptance letter I was in shock,” said Rini “To be able to go to college on a full scholarship and graduate without any student loans takes a huge burden off my family.” His family knows about perseverance and the value and cost of education. When they faced financial struggles, Kevin’s mother returned to school to study nursing while working full-time as a medical assistant to support her family. She is now a nurse.

Evans Scholars are chosen based on demonstrating a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character. The scholarship is awarded by the Western Golf Association (WGA) and valued at more than $80,000 over four years.

Rini’s interest in golf was piqued as a nine-year-old when a golf instructor visited his gym class in 2005. He asked his mother to sign him up for classes at The First Tee of Greater Seattle at Jackson Park GC. Through The First Tee, his passion for golf grew along with his commitment to the inherent values the game taught him.

“One of the main things The First Tee taught me was core values and how to be a good human being,” said Rini. “Golf is like one big challenge. In golf, you have to own up to the highs and lows. And in life, you have to keep a strong mind through whatever you are going through. It really displays who you are.”

Rini displays who he is through leadership and service. He is captain of the Nathan Hale golf team, is part of the Global Visionaries program, and serves as an umpire for the North Seattle Baseball Association. He also serves on the Junior Advisory Board of The First Tee of Greater Seattle. With his support, that board has raised more than $6,000 to support scholarships for participants in The First Tee program.

“We are very proud that a participant of The First Tee of Greater Seattle has been recognized for this life changing scholarship,” said Craig Bruya (pictured in the photo with Kevin), board president of The First Tee of Greater Seattle, director of Western Golf Association and an Evans Scholar Alumni. “Kevin has exemplified what it means to be an Evans Scholar and I am glad his hard work and perseverance, both in school and in The First Tee program, has been recognized.”

Rini will join 840 caddies enrolled in colleges across the county as Evans Scholars. More than 9,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars – including 220 from Washington – since the program began.

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