First Tee of Benton Harbor Marks 15 Years, Impacting 10,000+ Youth

What started out as a small local chapter of a national organization focused on youth development has evolved into one of the most successful such programs in the nation, impacting more than 10,000 local young people in its first 15 years in existence.

The First Tee of Benton Harbor is celebrating 15 years of impacting the lives of our local youth. Amazingly, since first taking flight back in 2005, the First Tee of Benton Harbor has now impacted more than 10,000 young people through its Life Skills Experience program, providing them with experiences that build their character and prepare them for the futures. Using the game of golf as the platform, participants learn critical life skills—like goal setting, conflict resolution and managing emotions—to help them grow socially, emotionally and academically.

First Tee of Benton Harbor is now reaching more than 3,500 young people every year. Additionally, First Tee has been introduced to more than a dozen schools and youth centers, reaching thousands of additional kids throughout the community. The chapter’s success has been a result of many individuals, including hundreds of volunteers who have donated their time over the years.

Executive Director Ebon Sanders beams as he says, “I am deeply proud of the positive impact the First Tee of Benton Harbor has been able to provide over these 15 years,” adding, “I’m especially pleased that there are a number of young people who are now in a different place because of our work.”

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First Tee of Benton Harbor is one of 150 chapters across the First Tee network dedicated to helping young people build character through the game of golf.

Sanders notes, “Our mission and methods haven’t changed much through the years. First Tee of Benton Harbor has and always will be made up of caring adults who understand that we do more than teach a game to the young people we reach.” Sanders concludes, “Through fantastic partnerships with youth-serving organizations, incredible community volunteers and a caring and engaged board of directors, we have been able to make a positive impact in our community.”

If you would like to register a young person to become a participant, or if you’d like to donate, or even to volunteer with the First Tee of Benton Harbor, simply click the link below or call 269.210.6968. Here’s the link:

First Tee of Benton Harbor is a nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its beginning in 2005, First Tee of Benton Harbor has expanded to reach thousands of young people on golf courses, in elementary schools and through after school programs across Michigan’s Great Southwest.