My name is Mario Yep and I not only volunteer at The First Tee of Fresno as a coach and but also volunteer at events throughout the year. I heard about The First Tee of Fresno a couple of years ago at Riverside Golf Course and asked my son if he wanted to join. I explained to him that it was not only about learning golf skills but also about learning the First Tee Code of Conduct and the Nine Core Values. He started the program in 2014 at the PLAYer level and has continued to participate through 2015 at the Par level.
I used to take my son to his to class on Saturday mornings at Riverside, and I would wait there until his class was over. While I was there, I had the opportunity to watch Coach Marvin interact with the kids and teach them golf skills relating to the core values taught during the golf lesson. The more I was there, the more I saw how the lessons progressed and how the kids not only learned golf skills but also learned core values. I continued to reinforce the core values at home and noticed the improvement in my son’s behavior. As he continued through the year, I became more interested in volunteering because I started to see the impact the program had on my son and I wanted to learn more about the curriculum to help him and other kids in the program.
I attended a volunteer training in December 2014 and signed up for a volunteer coaching position on the spot because I saw the opportunity to get involved in a program that keeps growing, teaches kids all aspects of golf, and uses the Nine Core Values and the Nine Healthy Habits to build character.
In 2015, I coached two classes with Coach Marvin at Riverside. I signed up both my son and daughter for the program, and although she is not a golf enthusiast, she learned a lot because of the Nine Core Values and how they apply to everything she does in school, at home, and everywhere else. She also had the opportunity to help Coach Marvin and teach the other kids in her class; she really enjoyed coaching.
I will continue to volunteer at classes and events as long as I am able to. I want to thank Mike, Ryan, Morgan, and Coach Marvin for the opportunity to be part of The First Tee of Fresno. My children and I have learned a lot from The First Tee of Fresno’s program.