Hampton Roads teen nominated for First Tee Outstanding Participant Award

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Gerry Jones, Jr. from The First Tee of Hampton Roads has been selected as one of eight finalists for The First Tee Outstanding Participant Award presented by Shell Oil Company.

Jones, is a 16-year-old home schooled student from Suffolk, Virginia. His father introduced him to the game of golf at the age of three and has been his primary coach until 2016.

Jones played in his first competitive junior golf event at the age of five on The First Tee Course in Virginia Beach.

His local golf has included The First Tee of Hampton Roads, the PGA (Professional Golf Association) Junior League until age 12 and VSGA (Virginia State Golf Association) and USGA (United States Golf Association) Junior events. However, Jones has primarily played in regional and national golf tournaments and junior tours.

“I am thankful and honored to be selected for such a great recognition and the opportunity to earn a scholarship that will support my educational goals. I am proud to represent The First Tee and I am forever grateful,” said Jones.

As a finalist for The First Tee Outstanding Participant Award, Jones will attend The First Tee Outstanding Participant & Leadership Summit, an interactive and educational event in which teen participants will have the opportunity to develop and hone skills to become leaders in their chapters, schools and communities.

This national award recognizes exemplary achievement in the area of academics, community service, chapter involvement and leadership.

The summit will be held in Orlando Nov. 8–11 in conjunction with The First Tee National Network Meeting, a biennial conference for chapter representatives of The First Tee.

Among the dignitaries scheduled to address the teenagers at the summit are businessman and educator Stedman Graham as well as World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam.

Educational workshops during the summit will cover a variety of topics including the importance of community service and volunteerism, financial literacy, social media, and more, which will be presented by experts in these fields.

“We have had the privilege to watch Gerry thrive here at The First Tee for many years. His honors and awards continue to amaze and inspire us all, but this is the epitome of his career within The First Tee. To be considered as one of the finalists for the Outstanding Participant Award is what our young people
dream of accomplishing. We are so proud of Gerry and the young man he’s become, what an honor,” Nancy Moore, Director of Operations & Development at The First Tee of Hampton Roads.

Jones has also played AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) events and had a top 10 finish at the 2016 AJGA Preview in Palm Harbor, Florida and was a 2016 USGA-AJGA President’s Leadership Award Top 10 Finalist for his community involvement and philanthropy.