By TONIA HILL
Abdel Raoul, a student at Mount Carmel High School, 6410 S. Dante Ave., was selected to attend the First Tee National Golf Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla., next month.
Raoul, who is a part of The First Tee of Greater Chicago, is one of 24 junior golfers from the First Tee, in the 15-18-year-old age group that was selected by a national panel of judges to participate in the academy for elite players.
“It is an honor to be selected to represent the Greater Chicago chapter at this national academy,” Raoul said in a written statement. “I plan to use the knowledge given to me at the academy to further my understanding and appreciation of the Nine Core Values and how I can apply them as a future collegiate golfer.”
The First Tee College Golf Prep Academy is a chance for participants within the First Tee network that have an interest in pursuing golf at the college level. Those selected to attend will receive life skills and golf instruction from the First Tee Coaches and guest speakers that will assist them in their quest to compete at the next level athletically and academically.
Raoul, who is 16, will be a junior this fall at Mount Carmel. He is an Eagle Level participant and has been involved in The First Tee programming for seven years.
To date, he has attended other national events including Nancy Tenant Leadership Academy in Benton Harbor, Mich., as well as, the Golf to Paradise First Tee Challenge at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla., where he and his partner took first place in the tournament.
Raoul also has a passion for helping those in need. He spends time outside of golf volunteering at the Chicago Food Depository, Feed My Starving Children and Catholic Charities.
During the golf academy, which will begin on Tuesday, July 11, Raoul will participate in interactive sessions in the areas of golf technique, education and career exploration, physical fitness and nutrition, and golf equipment. He will also get a taste of the college experience while staying at a dorm at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale.
The First Tee is a youth development initiative of the World Golf Foundation supported by the Masters Tournament, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, and the United States Golf Association. There are nearly 200 chapters of The First Tee located nationwide and internationally.
The First Tee has two locations on the South Side one at South Shore Golf Course and another at the Jackson Park Driving Range.