From PLAYer to Intern by Intern Qingqing Zhao

Categories: Blog

I am a participant in First Tee of Pittsburgh’s program and am currently in the Eagle level.  This summer, in June, I started my internship at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course here at Schenley Park. I am very happy to have been involved in First Tee for nine years now. I have experienced not only participating in classes, but also various other programs like the Life Skills and Leadership Academy.  I went to Michigan State University for the leadership academy in the summer of 2018.  

I started at First Tee of Pittsburgh in 2010 in a very unexpected way.  I would have never started golfing if it wasn’t for the one time my mom advised a student at her college.  This student was Mercedes Epondulan, and she told my mom all about First Tee of Pittsburgh and introduced us to Eric Amato.  I started at the PLAYer 1 level, and now I am proud to be at the Eagle level.  I started playing golf at 10 years old with no knowledge of the sport at all, and now I play for my high school varsity team.  First Tee was my first experience with golf and taught me the basics at first, which really helped me build my confidence and skill.

This summer, I was presented with the opportunity to be an Americorp Vista Intern, and my host site is the Bob O’Connor Golf Course! I just finished my 6th week of the 9 week internship.  I have had a fantastic experience with the Up2Us Vista program.  I have weekly calls and discussions with my cohort and cohort leader.  At the Bob O’Connor Golf Course, I have served as an assistant coach in the summer camps and clinics.  I especially enjoyed the summer camps, where I built fun relationships with kids that came for camp for all four weeks.  At the camp, the same group of kids would come daily, and it was nice to see them everyday.  

I was once a younger kid participating in PLAYer and Par classes and the summer camps for several years.  It is eye opening to see all the work that goes into operating the camp and clinics behind the scenes. 

Submitted by Coach Qingqing Zhao, Intern

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