‘‘ Through the years his focus and enthusiasm gained a significant amount of steam with the assistance of his go-to-team and this has been essential in building relationships with fellow participants, coaches and community leaders. – Anthony Rodriguez Senior Program Director, PGA First Tee of Metropolitian New York GRIT FOR THE GREATER GOOD Evan Koutsopetras, has been involved at First Tee of Metropolitan New York since he was seven. Like most teens, he’s grown significantly over the last eight years. Unlike most teens, he has had to overcome being told by many he’d never get where he is today. If you ask Evan, he’ll tell you his story is one of perseverance – a deep-rooted characteristic strengthened in him through his First Tee experience. Diagnosed with Autism at three, rejected by several private schools and told flat out he would not earn a high school diploma based on his diagnosis, Evan set out to prove he could perform both academically and athletically in a typical, public high school. Evan is now an honor roll student, the number one player on his high school golf team, took a trip to Pebble Beach to play alongside legends in the 2019 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee and volunteers regularly. He credits First Tee for helping him relate to others and being able to truly connect with his peers. He’s found a mentor in coach Anthony Rodriguez and has big plans for his future, where he will continue to meet each challenge head on. “I firmly believe that the life lessons I’ve learned in the First Tee have directly prepared me for the obstacles I’ve had to overcome as well as the challenges I expect to face in the future.” ‘‘

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