Bronx student spends summer caddying for an education


GOLF, Ill. – The Western Golf Association Caddie Academy has returned for its seventh summer, providing a group of 90 female high school students from across the nation the opportunity to work at local golf and country clubs along Chicago’s North Shore. Additionally, the boys Caddie Academy is beginning its second summer with 11 male high school participants.

This year, a record number of applicants applied to the Caddie Academy. Joining the returning participants are 18 new girls and six new boys.

Girls will begin caddying daily for seven weeks on June 19 at one of 14 participating clubs while living at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois. Boys will reside at the Northwestern Evans Scholarship House in Evanston, Illinois, and caddie at one of three participating clubs.

This unique program offers participants a chance to experience the benefits of being a golf caddie, from learning life lessons to being around successful adults. Participants are from economically under-resourced backgrounds, and more than 90 percent are minorities. This summer’s participants are from Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

As part of the Program, the group participates in special outings and field trips, career talks from successful Evans Scholars Alumni leaders and standardized test prep training.

Participating clubs in the Academy include Conway Farms Golf Club, Evanston Golf Club, Exmoor Country Club, The Glen Club, Glen View Club, Indian Hill Club, Knollwood Club, Lake Shore Country Club, Merit Club, Northmoor Country Club, North Shore Country Club, Old Elm Club, Onwentsia Club, Skokie Country Club, Sunset Ridge Country Club, Twin Orchard Country Club and Westmoreland Country Club.

“The Caddie Academy provides a unique opportunity for hardworking young women to be introduced to caddying and the game of golf,” says WGA Chairman Frank Morley. “Their ultimate reward is a chance to earn a full scholarship to college.”

Those who complete the three-year program will become eligible to apply for the Evans Scholarship, which provides a full, four-year tuition and housing grant to top universities across the country. The prestigious Evans Scholarship, a program supported by the WGA, is awarded to caddies who demonstrate financial need and strong character, as well as outstanding caddie and academic records. This past year, 965 Evans Scholars were enrolled at 19 universities across the nation.

This year, 12 Caddie Academy participants were awarded the Evans Scholarship and will begin college this fall. They are listed below and organized by state and hometown.

Name State Hometown Golf/Country Club Awarded University
Olivia Evans AR Sherwood The Glen Club Northwestern University
Katya Tulak CA Los Angeles Indian Hill Club University of Washington
Valeria Zendejas CA Los Angeles Indian Hill Club Marquette University
Emilija Davitkov IL Arlington Heights Northmoor Country Club University of Kansas
Noella Bamigbola IL Chicago Onwentsia Club University of Illinois
Berenice Rodriguez IL Waukegan Northmoor Country Club University of Illinois
Morayo Ayodele MD Beltsville Westmoreland Country Club Penn State University
Mackenzie Esposito MD Bowie Twin Orchard Country Club University of Missouri
Takiya Jackson MD Oxon Hill Knollwood Club Penn State University
Atim Bedell MD Takoma Park Merit Club Northwestern University
Brooklyn Gabriel PA Philadelphia Glen View Club Penn State University
Alzberta Nei PA Philadelphia The Glen Club Penn State University

Since the inception of the Caddie Academy, 35 participants have been awarded the Evans Scholarship.

The Caddie Academy began in 2012 with an inaugural class of 12 caddies. Each year since, it has experienced tremendous success and growth. The program is a core part of the Evans Scholars Foundation’s plans for growth, with a goal of sending 1,000 caddies to college annually by the year 2020.

The Caddie Academy is funded by the Souder family. Proceeds from the Women’s Invitational golf fundraiser, now in its fourth year, also benefit the Academy.

For more information on the WGA Caddie Academy, please visit To learn more about the Evans Scholarship, visit

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