Success Spotlight: Raven Sanders
Another example of Shell Houston Open Dollars at work
The First Tee of Greater Houston/Redstone Chapter
At first glance, 17-year-old Raven Sanders seems like your typical high school senior. She is active in the drama club, enjoys hanging out with her friends and is in the midst of deciding where to go to college.
But Raven is not your average teen-ager. Since the fifth grade, she has been a member of The First Tee, a youth development program that promotes character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. It is one of the programs supported by The Shell Houston Open and the Houston Golf Association. According to Raven, being a part of The First Tee has taught her some valuable life skills.
“It’s definitely helped me in my relationships with others,” she says. “I used to be very shy, but the program teaches you how to interact with others to help bring you out of your shell.”
She says she has learned life lessons by practicing The First Tee program’s nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, responsibility, respect, judgment, confidence, courtesy and perseverance.
“When I entered high school, I saw people being bullied. I stood up for them, and I think it’s because of what I learned through my experience with The First Tee.”
Raven’s mother, Nancy Sanders, agrees that The First Tee has helped her daughter deal with some difficult growing pains.
“I’ve seen Raven go through hard times, and The First Tee has always been a big support for her,” she says. “It has helped her develop self confidence and to stand up for what she believes in.”
“Through her experiences at The First Tee, Raven has discovered how to set goals, make decisions, and communicate effectively in her aspirations in theatre, school, leadership, and her future career,” adds Dianne Overstreet, program coordinator for The First Tee Houston/Redstone.
In fact, Raven’s experience with The First Tee has been so positive that in 2006 she earned the Renee Powell Outstanding Female Leader Award. She also was one of 49 First Tee members selected to attend the 2007 Future Leaders Forum at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and she recently was picked to be among The First Tee’s 2008 Class of Scholars, the highest honor a youngster can receive.
In between drama club, playing golf with her dad, and preparing for college, Raven still enjoys working with younger members of The First Tee.
“The First Tee has definitely helped me in reaching for my goals, and I’m happy to share my experience so others can do the same,” she says