The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award was created to recognize one boy and one girl junior golfer 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. The recipients of the 2013 USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award will be announced on May 28.
Eric Austin, Northford, Conn. (Class of 2014)
Austin is involved with
Leadership Links where he organized the Joe Simoes Memorial Golf Tournament and raised $4,500. Since 2008, he has been a member of Barb’s Lifetime team for the Cheshire Relay for Life. In 2012, he raised $1,500 for the team.
Brandon Barrows, Lake Orion, Mich. (Class of 2015)
Barrows, along with his family, hosts the George Prieskorn Invitational, which honors the memory of his great uncle George. Barrows also raises money for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation through AJGA’s Playing Fore their Future program.
Sam Burns, Shreveport, La. (Class of 2015)
Burns volunteers for the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission. In conjunction with the AJGA’s Playing Fore Patriots program, Burns has raised more than $1,800 for 15-year-old Noah Strickland, whose father was seriously injured in Afghanistan.
Matthew Galluzzo, Plantation, Fla. (Class of 2016)
Galluzzo is enrolled in Leadership Links and has volunteered for the AJGA’s Playing Fore their Future and Playing Fore Patriots initiatives. He has raised $425 towards the Folds of Honor Foundation, and is working toward a goal of raising $1,000.
Jack Gianniny, Rochester, N.Y. (Class of 2014)
Playing golf has helped Gianniny discover a passion for helping children younger than him. He volunteers for his club’s newly-instated junior golf program and tutors at a local elementary school.
Jalen Griffin, Ambler, Pa. (Class of 2014)
Griffin saw the opportunity to help his family friend, 7-year-old Finn O’Sullivan, in his struggle with epilepsy through Leadership Links. Together they have raised more than $5,280 for Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy.
Lucas Jones, Louisville, Ky. (Class of 2013)
After being diagnosed with pediatric cancer, Jones was introduced to the game of golf. Through the Leadership Links Birdies for Charity program, he raised more than $2,500 for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Jones also participated in the KPGA Foundation Don Fightmaster Golf Outing for Exceptional Children, where he taught golf skills to disabled boys and girls.
Nick Kroustalis, Clemmons, N.C. (Class of 2014)
Through Leadership Links, Kroustalis participated in the Dormie Cup in Pinehurst, N.C., to raise money for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. His fundraising efforts have raised more than $3,000.
Drew Miller, Allen, Texas (Class of 2014)
As a freshman at Allen High School, Miller began his own fundraiser called Birdies for Charity, where sponsors pledge money for each birdie he makes in an official round of high school golf. Miller has raised $8,636 for Carson’s Crusaders Foundation, an organization that provides assistance to children with rare solid tumors.
Harcourt Settle, Raleigh, N.C. (Class of 2014)
Last summer Settle travelled to Coracora, Peru, where he and a group built a community center for the city’s children. Settle also serves as a youth attorney for peers who have committed misdemeanor crimes at the Capital Area Teen Court.
Gray Townsend, Winston-Salem, N.C. (Class of 2014)
After Townsend was diagnosed with type 1 juvenile diabetes, he began volunteering with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He chairs the team “Gray’s Crew” at his high school, which has raised more than $20,000.
Charles Wang, Bradenton, Fla. (Class of 2014)
Next to golf, Wang’s second passion is playing violin. Wang used his musical talents to help raise money for his high school to erect a new building and performed at a fundraising dinner concert.
Greer Clausen, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Class of 2014)
As captain for her high school golf team, Clausen initiated Birdies for Charity for the women’s golf team. For each birdie scored by any player, sponsors pledge funds donated to The First Tee of Mid-Michigan. So far, Clausen’s team has made 33 birdies and raised more than $1,000.
Taylor Coleman, San Antonio, Texas (Class of 2015)
Coleman believes in the values and mission of The First Tee and recently began volunteering with The First Tee of San Antonio. There, Coleman assists juniors with chipping, putting and learning about proper golf course etiquette.
Alexandra Harkins, Crystal Lake, Ill. (Class of 2014)
Through the Birdies for Charity program, Harkins raised more than $1,100 for The First Tee of Rockford and $300 for the Birdies for St. Jude program during the Bubba Conley National Junior Golf Tournament.
Abby Schroeder, Wildwood, Mo. (Class of 2014)
Schroeder participates in AJGA’s Birdies for Charity program with Leadership Links. She raises money for Wings of Hope, an organization that mentors young female pilots.