Angelica Harris of Harvey, Louisiana, and Daniel Berlin of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, were honored as the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award recipients on June 28. The awards were presented by USGA President Diana Murphy during the Rolex Dinner of Champions hosted in honor of the 132-player field competing at the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award was created to recognize one male and one female 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.
Harris was honored for her efforts in starting “Angelica’s Angels,” a program built around the game’s fundamentals for individuals on the autism spectrum.
Her connection is personal: her brother Jeremiah has autism. She began a program so they could enjoy golf together, but along the way, has also improved the lives of many students at the Chartwell Center, a school for people with autism in New Orleans. With Leadership Links, she raised more than $1,400 to fund the curriculum which teaches life lessons including sportsmanship and competition.
“Find a cause you are passionate about and look for ways you can directly make a difference,” Harris said. Harris will play college golf at Washington University in St. Louis in the fall. After working hard to raise her own score, she also now leads an ACT prep class for peers looking to chase their own college dreams.
When Daniel Berlin was seven, his cousin Anna was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. From that moment, Berlin knew he wanted to do something to help those who suffer from mental illness.
LifeAct is an organization dedicated to raising awareness for the warning signs of anxiety, depression and suicide. Berlin has volunteered more than 360 hours for LifeAct in the three years he has served on their youth advisory board, most recently as president.
Through Leadership Links, Berlin has raised more than $5,000 to impact students through educational programming. Berlin has achieved success with academics, scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT and keeping a 4.6 GPA. He also has performed at Carnegie Hall as a successful pianist.
The rising senior has also volunteered more than 100 hours for other local charities.