Lauryn Nguyen of Seattle, Wash., was named a 2019 recipient of the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award, the USGA and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) announced June 6.
The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award honors one male and one female junior golfer annually who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program: a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
“It’s really humbling for me to receive this award,” Nguyen said. “When I started Leadership Links, I had no idea the impact that I would make.”
Nguyen, 15, and William Mirams of Stroudsburg, Pa., will be honored on June 24 at the Polo Golf Dinner of Champions at Liberty National Golf Club. Additionally, they will each receive tickets to a future U.S. Open Championship.
About Lauryn Nguyen
Nguyen is a first-generation American citizen. Her parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980s to escape war-torn Vietnam. She knows she is fortunate to receive the opportunities she has and is focused on giving the same opportunities to kids. She is particularly interested in helping other girls experience the game of golf and the opportunities it can afford.
“Growing up, I realized golf opens so many doors for me in terms of traveling experiences, meeting new friends, potential future scholarships, and future business opportunities,” Nguyen said. “Having experienced this, I want other juniors to have the same opportunity and expand their potential.”
Using Leadership Links as a resource, she has focused her fundraising efforts on The First Tee of Greater Seattle. Through her projects, she has raised more than $15,000 for the charity. In 2018 alone, she raised enough money to help more than 40 kids have the opportunity to play golf with the chapter where she started with golf as well. Money she raises also benefits the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) program which helps junior golfers who have the talent to play national-level junior golf, but not the financial means.
“I’ve learned that when you put others first, good things always come back,” Nguyen said. “When I first started volunteering with The First Tee, I just thought that I would be giving some kids some tips on their swing and teach them aspects of the game, I had no idea that along with the impact that I had on them, they had an equally powerful impact on me.”
Getting more girls involved in the game of golf is very important to Nguyen. At her high school, she realized there were not many girls coming out for the golf team and those who did, only played golf during the season. She started a girls’ golf club to spread the word about golf and to encourage girls at her high school to play golf year-round.
USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award – Past Recipients
Gerry Jones Jr. (Suffolk, Va.)
Grace Chen (Sunnyvale, Calif.)
Grant Fairbairn (Orinda, Fla.)
Haley Bookholdt (Columbus, N.J.)
Daniel Berlin (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
Angelica Harris (Harvey, La.)
Nick Leibold (Littleton, Colo.)
Hannah Berman (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
John Hayden (Birmingham, Ala.)
Dree Fausnaugh (Maitland, Fla.)
Patrick Cover (Huntersville, N.C.)
Divya Manthena (Camarillo, Calif.)
Brandon Pierce (Covington, La.)
Cassie Wang (Lenexa, Kan.)
John Farese (Sayville, N.Y.)
Natalie Turk (Franklin, Tenn.)
Drew Johnson (Oak Ridge, N.C.)
Jacqueline Calamaro (Newtown Square, Pa.)
Zach Herr (New Hope, Pa.)
Emily Gimpel (Lafayette Hill, Pa.)
Smylie Kaufman (Birmingham, Ala.)
Kelsey Conway (Ventura, Calif.)
About Leadership Links
Since 2009, the Leadership Links program has helped more than 2,500 junior golfers make a difference in their communities by generating more than $2.2 million in charitable contributions to more than 2,000 charities and the AJGA's Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant.
Leadership Links is a program that allows the AJGA to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable-giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the ACE Grant. Visit www.ajga.org/ll for more.
About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade and adidas are the AJGA’s National Sponsors, supporting the AJGA for more than 25 years. TaylorMade has served as the Official Ball of the AJGA since 2016. adidas has been the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA since 2017. Rolex, in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.