Weekly Feature

2017-09-07 / Local News

Depew resident selected for leadership summit


Bolognese Bolognese Giavanna Bolognese has been involved with The First Tee of Western New York since she was 8 years old. Nine years later, the Depew resident and junior student at Sacred Heart Academy has been selected to participate in an exclusive conference as a representative of her Western New York First Tee chapter.

Bolognese is one of only 28 people in the entire country to be selected for the Outstanding Participant Leadership Summit, which runs from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11. This event is held in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with The First Tee Network Meeting.

Attendees will be involved in educational workshops that cover a variety of topics, which include the importance of community service, volunteerism, financial literacy and social media. Participants will eventually develop a plan for leading a community service project based on the skills and concepts learned from the four-day summit.

“To be one of 28 people to get chosen for this is truly an honor, and it was a pleasant surprise,” Bolognese said. “In order to apply for this, I had to write a series of essays about why I deserve this opportunity and submit an application.”

On top of golfing for Sacred Heart and at the Harvest Hill Golf Course for The First Tee of WNY, Bolognese also plays at the East Aurora Country Club. She talked about the impact that The First Tee has had on her life and the opportunities it has presented her along the way.

“I used to be very shy, and thanks to The First Tee, I started to come out of my shell, meet new people and create some great friendships,” Bolognese said. “I owe a huge thank you to [director of coaching and program design] Patty Jordan-Smith for all of her help.”

Along with Harvest Hill, The First Tee of WNY has five other locations and serves more than 300 Southtowns teens annually in their Life Skills Development program. Bolognese talked about her golfing future and where her emphasis will be as she prepares for college.

“Golf has always been a huge part of my life, and what I want to do is try and give back to my community,” Bolognese said. “I think I’ve really developed my leadership skills, and I am really excited for this next chapter of my life.”

To learn more about The First Tee of WNY, visit www.thefirstteewesternny.org.

If you have a suggestion for someone to feature in this column, send it to Amy Robb, editor, Lancaster/Depew Bee, arobb@beenews.com or call 204-4924.

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