USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award Finalists
The American Junior Golf Association and the USGA are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award, which recognizes aspiring elite junior golfers for their hard work to give back to their communities.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. The recipients of the 2019 USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award will be honored at the Polo Golf Dinner of Champions at Liberty National Golf Club on Monday, June 24, during the Polo Golf Junior Classic in N.J.
The finalists for the 2019 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award are:
Abbey Daniel, Covington, La., Class of 2019
In 2014, Daniel suffered a fall which broke every bone in her right arm and severed her brachial artery. She was flown to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and had several emergencies surgeries. After the surgeries, she was told she might never play golf again. This accident gave her a new perspective on life and the game of golf and motivated her to get back into golf and to use it to help others. Not only has she returned to golf, but she has competed in the National Finals for the Drive, Chip and Putt, and she is using Leadership Link’s Birdies for Charity program to raise money for the hospital which helped save her arm. Daniel also volunteers with the Miracle League Northshore, which provides opportunities to kids with disabilities to play organized sports who would otherwise not have the chance. Since becoming involved with these two organizations she has raised more than $3,400. She has also spent more than 100 hours volunteering with Shine Your Light and the Miracle League.
Ian Johnston, Swisher, Iowa, Class of 2019
In 2016, Johnston’s brother died of a heroin overdose two miles from where Johnston was playing in a high school tournament. The family was struck with grief but decided to use the tragedy to bring change and awareness. Johnston began raising money for the Area Substance Abuse Council and got involved with Leadership Links. Since then, he has raised more than $20,000 and impacted countless lives through his brother’s story. In 2018, Johnston and his family started a scholarship that is annually awarded to a senior on the golf team who is involved in giving back to the community. His high school also created an award named the Ian Johnston Award which will be given annually to an athlete at his high school who demonstrates excellence in academics, community involvement and character on and off the field. In addition to raising money, Johnston has also volunteered more than 150 hours with the Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation, the Area Substance Abuse Council and at his school raising awareness about substance abuse. In 2018, Johnston was awarded the AJGA’s Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award.
Campbell Kremer, Louisville, Ky., Class of 2020
When Kremer was born, he was diagnosed with several heart conditions and underwent two open heart surgeries before he was two years old. These circumstances prevented him from playing contact sports and eventually led him to golf. Kremer uses Leadership Links to raise money for the Norton Children’s Hospital where he was treated as a young child. He started with a goal to raise $5,000 but through donations and matching funds, has raised more than $17,000 to give back to the hospital he credits for saving his life. In addition to raising money, he also donates his time with the Norton Children’s Hospital, the local Kiwanis Club and various other organizations.
Reynolds Lambert, Birmingham, Ala., Class of 2019
After a long battle with cancer, Lambert’s grandfather passed away, leaving him with a desire to help others and make sure they didn’t have to go through the same difficult circumstances he and his family had to endure. These circumstances coupled with a realization of the cost of golf led Lambert to want to figure out a way to raise money to help both the American Cancer Society and the AJGA’s ACE Grant, which helps kids who are talented but don’t have the financial means to play national level junior golf. In 2018 he along with another AJGA member started the Alabama Cup which is a Ryder Cup style event where the junior golf participants raise money for charities that are important to them. Lambert individually raised more than $7,000 and the Alabama Cup raised more than $59,000 for various charities. He also volunteers his time with the Interact Club, Relay for Life and King’s Home, doing service projects and events.
William Mirams, Stroudsburg, Pa., Class of 2019
In 2015, Mirams started a charity called the Doreen Mirams Charity in honor of his grandmother who passed away from breast cancer. She had a profound impact on him and nourished his love for golf at an early age. Using the memories of playing golf and spending time with her, he wrote a book called Golf, Grandma and Me. Using the book as a launch point, he began raising money for those affected by breast cancer. Through the book and an annual golf tournament, Mirams has raised more than $100,000 in four years. Through Leadership Links, he also raises money for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and volunteers with the Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Lauryn Nguyen, Seattle, Wash., Class of 2021
Nguyen is a first-generation American citizen. Her parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980s to escape war-torn Vietnam. She considers herself lucky to receive the opportunity to play golf and wants to make sure that other kids have the same opportunities she does when it comes to the game. She joined Leadership Links and focused her fundraising efforts on The First Tee of Greater Seattle where she has raised more than $15,000 to help junior golfers. In 2018, the money she raised helped more than 40 kids get the opportunity to play golf through The First Tee. She also raises money for the AJGA’s ACE Grant and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. In addition to giving back, Nguyen also volunteers with The First Tee in their Girls Golf program and started a girls’ golf club at her high school which encourages young girls to take up the game of golf and enjoy it with their friends.
James Roller, Jenks, Okla., Class of 2020
Golf runs in the Roller family. James’ mother played in AJGA events from 1983-85 and his sister is currently competing in AJGA events as a freshman in high school. This is one of the reasons Roller has chosen to give back and raise money for the AJGA’s ACE Grant and the College Golf Fellowship (CGF). He believes that everyone should have the resources to play golf and access to the opportunities it brings. Through Leadership Links he has raised more than $15,000 for these two causes. He also volunteered more than 40 hours serving on the committee for the AJGA Gateway Mortgage Group Tulsa Junior and helping to raise money for the tournament’s designated charity, Folds of Honor. He has also served with more than a dozen local organizations ranging from the Beta Club to the USGA U.S. Girls Junior. In 2018 Roller was also a finalist for the AJGA’s Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award.
Michael Rosenbloom, Wellesley, Mass., Class of 2019
Rosenbloom was born with severe food allergies that often led to hospitalization and a constant fear of the next reaction. After years of trying different methods to help the allergies, Rosenbloom and his family decided to try an alternate therapy method. The method involved many practices that are not traditional medicine. Through this treatment he was able to overcome his allergies and live a normal life. Now he uses Leadership Links to raise money for Food Allergy Research & Education as well as participating in numerous research studies and volunteer opportunities through the Boston Children’s Hospital and other organizations. Rosenbloom has raised more than $8,000 to make the treatment he received available to help others.
Charissa Shang, Calabasas, Calif., Class of 2022
After a tragic shooting and wildfires that affected her community, Shang was looking for a way to help her community when she discovered the Calvary Community Disaster Relief program. Through Leadership Links, she has used her golf skills to raise money for the program and her community. She contacted family, friends and people in the area to pledge money for every birdie she makes in high school and junior golf events. Through the program, she raised more than $5,200 to give back to help families in need throughout her community. In addition to raising money, she also volunteers with Calvary Community Disaster Relief, Linguistics Olympiad and Oaks Christian Orchestra.
Kayla Wilde, Phoenix, Ariz., Class of 2021
Wilde has played golf since she was seven years old, but in 2013 she was influenced to make it about more than just playing the game. She was invited to be the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Ambassador Girls Golf Ambassador for the LPGA Founders Cup. This opened her eyes to the many charitable opportunities that golf can create. She interacted with and saw the model of giving back that Angela Stanford set and wanted to find her own way to impact others. After her time with the LPGA Founders Cup, she got involved with Leadership Links to raise money for the Angela Stanford Foundation, which serves children and young adults, especially those affected by cancer. Through Leadership Links and a partnership with 2GG Apparel, she raised more than $6,000 to help those in need. She also volunteered more than 50 hours educating her classmates on mental health, working with the JGAA and 2GG Apparel.
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, visitusga.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.