Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (May 1, 2023) — PGA REACH Philadelphia, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, is proud to announce sixteen recipients of the 2023 Philadelphia Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships: William Broadbelt, Sewell, N.J.; Megan Choi, Penn Valley, Pa.; Fortress Chryst, Wescosville, Pa.; Yalana Clarke, Villanova, Pa.; Antonella Ferrer, Wynnewood, Pa.; Benjamin Gangemi, Downingtown, Pa.; Emma Gangemi, Downingtown, Pa.; Joseph Gangemi, Downingtown, Pa.; James Gates, Ardmore, Pa.; Noah Gates, Ardmore, Pa.; Brayden Holland, Haddon Township, N.J.; Timothy Huber, Westmont, N.J.; Justin Marcus, Glenmoore, Pa.; Bruno Peri, Glen Mills, Pa.; Lilly Reagan, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Lauren Williams, Philadelphia, Pa. With 16 youth golfers receiving scholarships, the 2023 scholarship class is the foundation’s largest.
PGA REACH Philadelphia created the scholarship program to support young golfers from diverse backgrounds and provide them with opportunities to develop their skills and pursue their dreams. Scholarship recipients will receive playing access to the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, the Delaware Valley’s premier golf tour for youth golfers, ages 18 and under.
Specifically, the scholarships provide recipients tour membership dues and tournament event fees (up to seven tournaments per year until the recipient turns 18 years old). The foundation will also connect recipients to PGA Professional mentors for golf instruction / coaching and club fitting. Additionally, through the organization’s partnership with the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s 1854 Foundation, and Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, the scholarship recipients will receive new golf clubs, and additional equipment, based on their PGA Professional mentor’s recommendations.
“We are thrilled to award scholarships to these talented young golfers,” said PGA REACH Philadelphia Director Courtney Curcio. “We believe that golf should be accessible to all, and the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships are one way we can help create more opportunities for young golfers.”
The 2023 Philadelphia Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships are supported by Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, Cobra Puma Golf, the 1854 Foundation, the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, and 1764. On behalf of the Philadelphia PGA Section’s nearly 900 PGA Professionals, PGA REACH Philadelphia Board of Directors, and staff, the foundation thanks its partners for their generous support.
This year’s Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship recipients have been selected based on their commitment to the game of golf, their academic achievements, and their involvement in their communities; they include:
William Broadbelt, 12, from Sewell, N.J., got involved with golf and has been participating in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Youth on Course program for several years. William enjoys the quiet and peaceful aspects of golf and is working to build his confidence in the game and make more connections on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour.
Megan Choi, 13, is from Penn Valley, Pa., and started playing on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour when she was 11. “A big reason I love to play golf is that we all come from different backgrounds, but share one interest: golf,” says Choi. “To me, that’s what matters most.” Despite starting golf at a later age, Choi sets goals for her golf game each year and seeks to improve her skills and play in competitive tournaments long-term.
Fortress Chryst, 14, resides in Wescosville, Pa., and has been playing golf since she was seven years old. Chryst dreams of playing competitively in the future and aims to play on her high school’s golf team. “I want to push myself, the limits, and the standard of what can be done,” said Fortress.
Yalana Clarke, 16, is from Villanova, Pa., and plays both volleyball and golf. Clarke has been playing with the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and has become an advanced golf player. Yalana hopes to further master her golf skills through the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour and play in more competitive tournaments.
Antonella Ferrer is 10 years old and is from Wynnewood, Pa. Ferrer began taking golf lessons in 2019 and has learned different types of shots and skills, performing well in local and sub-regional Drive, Chip, & Putt competitions, U.S. Kids Golf Local Tours, the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, and the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia programming. Ferrer stated that playing golf is an irresistible passion that has shined a light on the possibility of playing more ambitious golf in the future.
Benjamin Gangemi, 10, is based in Downingtown, Pa., and is a participant with the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. Gangemi started his golf journey playing with his father and older siblings and also became a member of Youth on Course to gain playing experience at different clubs in the region. Gangemi is looking forward to gaining more golf skills on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour and aspires to play on his high school golf team and in college.
Emma Gangemi, 12, lives in Downingtown, Pa., and has been playing golf for over six years. Gangemi enjoys mentoring fellow youth golfers and will be the captain of Honeybrook Golf Club’s 13u PGA Jr. League team in 2023. “I believe that playing on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour will encourage me to meet new people and become a more independent player,” said Gangemi. With two years of being a participant on the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, Gangemi has acquired a wide range of golf skills that she is ready to utilize on the tour.
Joseph Gangemi, is 15 years old and lives in Downingtown, Pa. Gangemi has been playing golf for six years, and was part of the Honeybrook Golf Club PGA Jr. League team, and the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, and began playing on the Downingtown East golf team in the fall of 2022. “Becoming a member of the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour will help me become a more competitive golfer which will prepare me for the future when applying to play golf in college and accomplishing my goals,” said Gangemi.
James Gates is 17 years old and is from Ardmore, Pa. Gates is a passionate golfer and is excited to improve his golf skills and showcase his passion for the game. He says he is excited to learn skills from other golfers, and achieve his goals on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour.
Noah Gates, 12, resides in Ardmore, Pa., and in the past has participated on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour and with the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. Gates says that becoming a member of the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour will help him with his life in the future, as it will prepare him with a foundation involving a skillset that he can use in all walks of life. Gates is always striving to put his best foot forward and doesn’t give up on the personal, academic, and athletic goals he is aiming to accomplish.
Brayden Holland is 14 years old and lives in Haddon Township, N.J. In addition to competing in rowing and golf, he is participating in the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia’s Caddie Academy. Holland went on to say that he is always reminded to make sure he is enjoying the game.
Timothy Hueber, 15, from Westmont, N.J., is excited to have access to a wide range of tournaments and events that will introduce him to other youth golfers throughout the region. Hueber says that being part of a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for the sport can provide a supportive and encouraging environment to pursue his goals in golf. Through the game of golf, Hueber says he has been able to improve his self-esteem and gain more confidence.
Justin Marcus, 15, resides in Glenmoore, Pa., and has been playing golf for two years. Marcus played on Downingtown West’s golf team, one of the top teams in the state in 2022. Marcus is excited to continue improving his golf game on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour.
Bruno Peri, 10, lives in Glen Mills, Pa., plays not only golf, but basketball and baseball too. Peri has participated in PGA Junior Camps and has goals to become “the next Tiger Woods.” He learned to love the game of golf when he went to the Golf Zone Family Fun Center to practice his swing and short game, learning from the late PGA Professional and Past Section President and Hall of Fame Member, George McNamara, PGA.
Lilly Reagan, 16, resides in Philadelphia, Pa., and has been playing golf with the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and on her high school golf team for several years. Lilly has a passion for growing the game for girls and wants more youth to have the opportunity to play in the Philadelphia Catholic League. “I am influenced by women, like Lydia Ko, Nancy Lopez, and Inbee Park, to raise expectations for women athletes and to turn professional,” said Reagan.
Lauren Williams, is 17 years old and lives in Philadelphia, Pa. Williams has played golf with the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and on Episcopal Academy’s varsity golf team. “Playing on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour will allow me to have a stronger advantage at excelling in the game and become a well-rounded player,” says Williams. She aspires to be a mentor to the younger players on the tour and would love to take what she has learned from playing competitively and apply it to younger golfers.
The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships are just one of the many ways that PGA REACH Philadelphia works to make golf more accessible to everyone. The organization also offers a variety of other programs and initiatives across Youth, Military, and Diversity & Inclusion.
About PGA REACH Philadelphia
PGA REACH Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, one of the 41 Sections within the PGA of America. PGA REACH Philadelphia is committed to serving our communities and growing the game of golf through our three pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity. Visit PGAREACHPhiladelphia.com to learn more. To donate to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please click here.
About the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour leads the region in competitive junior golf, conducting over 85 events seasonally at top facilities. With more than 800 members, the Junior Tour is represented by players from every geographic location in the section. With ample opportunities to learn, grow, and compete, many tour members graduate to play at the collegiate level and beyond. The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Program is proud to help develop social skills, self-esteem, and inspire youth in our community. For more information on the tour, please visit www.phillyjuniortour.com. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.
Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org