As the month of November is coming to a close and thanksgiving is just around the corner, our full time students are really beginning to embrace the spirit of the holidays. With all of the things that they have accomplished this semester, they have so many people and things to be thankful for.
First and foremost, they want to thank their parents for all of the sacrifices that they have made for them to be able to attend the academy. Of course there is the obvious financial sacrifice, but frequently overlooked, is the time and separation.
“I’m so thankful to my parents for the opportunity to be here,” said full time student Santiago Sanchez. “For my parents, it is almost like an achievement that they are able to send me to the academy, because they know that by doing so, they are able to provide a better life for me. Being here increases my opportunities to play in college, as well as teaches me life lessons and allows me to mature as a person.”
Although our students’ parents provide them with the opportunity to come to the academy, none of their success would be possible without the hard work and dedication of their instructors. Our instructors work six days a week on normal weeks and sometimes seven days on tournament weekends, to ensure that our students have all the help and support that is necessary.
“The coaches have really helped me improve my swing and my self confidence, but their role in my life is so much more than that,” said Sanchez. “ My coach, Dan, is more than just a coach to me, he is more like a mentor or an older brother. I go to him for everything. I know that I can trust him with all of my problems, and that he will support me and give me the best advice.”
In order to be the golfers that they are, the fitness and health of our students has to be taken into consideration as well. Fitness and Nutrition Instructor, Kelly Shobe works one on one with each of our students to make sure that they’re physically and mentally prepared to take on the course.
“Miss Kelly does all of the stuff behind the scenes. If it was not for her, there is no way I would be achieving all of my other goals,” said Sanchez. “ She’s like our academy mom. She’s always making sure that we’re happy and okay, emotionally.”
Of course the main reason that our students attend the academy is to improve their golf game, however, the academy offers each of our students an excellent education. With the help of their teacher, Vicki Lynch, our students are just as prepared for their college schoolwork as they are the athletic competition.
“ Miss Vicki is hard on us, which is something that I was not used to in school, prior to coming here.” said Sanchez. “ I know she pushes us because she sees our potential and knows of the great things that we are capable of achieving. I do not always show it, but I am thankful for her, because I know she is helping to prepare me for the way my school work will be in college.”
As our student express their thankfulness, it shows the gratitude that being here is instilling in them, as well as how they are growing as individuals. Watching them develop as they are studying here at the academy, is something that each member of the staff takes pride in and is appreciative of. We hope that the spirit of thanksgiving is something that remains within all of us, long after the holidays are gone.