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Partner Spotlight: Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation

April held every golf enthusiast’s most treasured weekend: The Masters. All of the excitement had us thinking about one of our long time partners, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation, an exceptional resource for children in Pinellas County. Setting them up for success in Augusta? Potentially. Setting them up for success in life? Absolutely.
 

Local golfers are generally familiar with the Chi Chi Rodriguez driving range and golf course, known for it’s affordability, accessibility, and the PGA pro and co-founder for which it is named. But there’s much more to this story than another place to practice your swing or get in a round on the 69-par course “in time to make it home for dinner”, as they say.

Thanks to the vision of founders Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bob James, and Bill Hayes, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation was established in 1979 with the mission of educating students and improving their academic performance, self-esteem, and character by using the golf course as a living classroom. There are, in fact, real classrooms that can be seen upon arriving at the facility – a main building and portables that house students from fourth through eighth grade – all of which make up the Chi Chi Academy.

The students that attend Chi Chi Academy have been identified as struggling and/or high risk of dropping out. At Chi Chi, these students are given the opportunity to learn and develop in a unique environment with more personalized attention. In addition to traditional academics taught by Pinellas County teachers, students learn through horticulture, birding, job shadowing, and behavior-based “earnings” to spend at the on-site store, supplied with a variety of donated items. Furthermore, each week the students are brought out onto the course to further develop a life skill that can be understood and emphasized through the game of golf, such as judgment.

This unique construction of education has proven to work, with Academy students consistently outperforming the Pinellas County District midterm testing average. After moving on to high school, 78% of all previously at-risk students go on to graduate.

In addition to Chi Chi Academy, the Youth Foundation also operates the First Tee – Clearwater, another branch to offer children around the area from ages 5-17 more skill-building lessons, in golf and in life, with scholarships available to meet those in need.

So yes, there is more to this course than another perfect day of golfing in the sunshine state. Over a fifth of the funding for the Youth Foundation’s programs is furnished through the golf club and driving range. In golf, as in all athletics, practice makes perfect. At Chi Chi, that practice truly makes a difference.Local golfers are generally familiar with the Chi Chi Rodriguez driving range and golf course, known for it’s affordability, accessibility, and the PGA pro and co-founder for which it is named. But there’s much more to this story than another place to practice your swing or get in a round on the 69-par course “in time to make it home for dinner”, as they say.

Thanks to the vision of founders Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bob James, and Bill Hayes, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation was established in 1979 with the mission of educating students and improving their academic performance, self-esteem, and character by using the golf course as a living classroom. There are, in fact, real classrooms that can be seen upon arriving at the facility – a main building and portables that house students from fourth through eighth grade – all of which make up the Chi Chi Academy.

The students that attend Chi Chi Academy have been identified as struggling and/or high risk of dropping out. At Chi Chi, these students are given the opportunity to learn and develop in a unique environment with more personalized attention. In addition to traditional academics taught by Pinellas County teachers, students learn through horticulture, birding, job shadowing, and behavior-based “earnings” to spend at the on-site store, supplied with a variety of donated items. Furthermore, each week the students are brought out onto the course to further develop a life skill that can be understood and emphasized through the game of golf, such as judgment.

This unique construction of education has proven to work, with Academy students consistently outperforming the Pinellas County District midterm testing average. After moving on to high school, 78% of all previously at-risk students go on to graduate.

In addition to Chi Chi Academy, the Youth Foundation also operates the First Tee – Clearwater, another branch to offer children around the area from ages 5-17 more skill-building lessons, in golf and in life, with scholarships available to meet those in need.

So yes, there is more to this course than another perfect day of golfing in the sunshine state. Over a fifth of the funding for the Youth Foundation’s programs is furnished through the golf club and driving range. In golf, as in all athletics, practice makes perfect. At Chi Chi, that practice truly makes a difference.

 

Clearwater For Youth is proud to partner with the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation, aligning our missions to uplift young people and set them up for success later in life, using athletic activity as a cornerstone. We look forward to returning this year for our annual Capogna Golf Fundraiser – keep an eye out for the date in the coming weeks! Until then, visit Chi Chi’s website for more information and ways to get involved.

 

 

 

 

This post was included in our April 2021 newsletter, FYI on CFY. Enter your email below to get first access to great content like this and all other important news from the CFY huddle!

* indicates required


April held every golf enthusiast’s most treasured weekend: The Masters. All of the excitement had us thinking about one of our long time partners, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation, an exceptional resource for children in Pinellas County. Setting them up for success in Augusta? Potentially. Setting them up for success in life? Absolutely.
 

Local golfers are generally familiar with the Chi Chi Rodriguez driving range and golf course, known for it’s affordability, accessibility, and the PGA pro and co-founder for which it is named. But there’s much more to this story than another place to practice your swing or get in a round on the 69-par course “in time to make it home for dinner”, as they say.

Thanks to the vision of founders Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bob James, and Bill Hayes, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation was established in 1979 with the mission of educating students and improving their academic performance, self-esteem, and character by using the golf course as a living classroom. There are, in fact, real classrooms that can be seen upon arriving at the facility – a main building and portables that house students from fourth through eighth grade – all of which make up the Chi Chi Academy.

The students that attend Chi Chi Academy have been identified as struggling and/or high risk of dropping out. At Chi Chi, these students are given the opportunity to learn and develop in a unique environment with more personalized attention. In addition to traditional academics taught by Pinellas County teachers, students learn through horticulture, birding, job shadowing, and behavior-based “earnings” to spend at the on-site store, supplied with a variety of donated items. Furthermore, each week the students are brought out onto the course to further develop a life skill that can be understood and emphasized through the game of golf, such as judgment.

This unique construction of education has proven to work, with Academy students consistently outperforming the Pinellas County District midterm testing average. After moving on to high school, 78% of all previously at-risk students go on to graduate.

In addition to Chi Chi Academy, the Youth Foundation also operates the First Tee – Clearwater, another branch to offer children around the area from ages 5-17 more skill-building lessons, in golf and in life, with scholarships available to meet those in need.

So yes, there is more to this course than another perfect day of golfing in the sunshine state. Over a fifth of the funding for the Youth Foundation’s programs is furnished through the golf club and driving range. In golf, as in all athletics, practice makes perfect. At Chi Chi, that practice truly makes a difference.Local golfers are generally familiar with the Chi Chi Rodriguez driving range and golf course, known for it’s affordability, accessibility, and the PGA pro and co-founder for which it is named. But there’s much more to this story than another place to practice your swing or get in a round on the 69-par course “in time to make it home for dinner”, as they say.

Thanks to the vision of founders Chi Chi Rodriguez, Bob James, and Bill Hayes, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation was established in 1979 with the mission of educating students and improving their academic performance, self-esteem, and character by using the golf course as a living classroom. There are, in fact, real classrooms that can be seen upon arriving at the facility – a main building and portables that house students from fourth through eighth grade – all of which make up the Chi Chi Academy.

The students that attend Chi Chi Academy have been identified as struggling and/or high risk of dropping out. At Chi Chi, these students are given the opportunity to learn and develop in a unique environment with more personalized attention. In addition to traditional academics taught by Pinellas County teachers, students learn through horticulture, birding, job shadowing, and behavior-based “earnings” to spend at the on-site store, supplied with a variety of donated items. Furthermore, each week the students are brought out onto the course to further develop a life skill that can be understood and emphasized through the game of golf, such as judgment.

This unique construction of education has proven to work, with Academy students consistently outperforming the Pinellas County District midterm testing average. After moving on to high school, 78% of all previously at-risk students go on to graduate.

In addition to Chi Chi Academy, the Youth Foundation also operates the First Tee – Clearwater, another branch to offer children around the area from ages 5-17 more skill-building lessons, in golf and in life, with scholarships available to meet those in need.

So yes, there is more to this course than another perfect day of golfing in the sunshine state. Over a fifth of the funding for the Youth Foundation’s programs is furnished through the golf club and driving range. In golf, as in all athletics, practice makes perfect. At Chi Chi, that practice truly makes a difference.

 

Clearwater For Youth is proud to partner with the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation, aligning our missions to uplift young people and set them up for success later in life, using athletic activity as a cornerstone. We look forward to returning this year for our annual Capogna Golf Fundraiser – keep an eye out for the date in the coming weeks! Until then, visit Chi Chi’s website for more information and ways to get involved.

 

 

 

 

This post was included in our April 2021 newsletter, FYI on CFY. Enter your email below to get first access to great content like this and all other important news from the CFY huddle!

* indicates required