GOLF, IL – Two Atlanta-area students have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held at Capital City Club in Atlanta, on Jan. 22.
Both caddies have a unique story to tell, reflecting the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character. They will begin college in the fall of 2019 as Evans Scholars. The Evans Scholarship is valued at an estimated $120,000 over four years. Both students participated in the WGA Caddie Academy, a program that provides under-resourced high school students an opportunity to caddie and earn money while living together for seven weeks during the summer.
Nala Bishop, from Lawrenceville, caddied for three years at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, through the WGA Caddie Academy. She attends Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School and earned a 3.8 GPA. The oldest of five children in her family, she is the senior class president and plays on the volleyball team. In her free time she volunteers at United Way of Greater Atlanta.
Elizabeth Rodriguez, from Powder Springs, caddied for three years at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, through the WGA Caddie Academy. She attends Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School and earned a 4.0 GPA. She and her two younger siblings are first-generation Americans. She is her class valedictorian, and captain of the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams. She is editor of the newspaper and yearbook. She co-founded Students for Life.
“Both of these deserving Evans Scholars epitomize what our Program has been about since its creation in 1930,” said WGA Chairman Frank Morley. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”
The selection meeting at Capital City Club was one of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2018-19 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 280 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Golf, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 985 caddies are enrolled in 18 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 10,830 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
“These young women have shown excellence in the classroom and in their communities, as well as on the golf course,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 32,000 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $10 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation.