This month, Cristo Rey senior and recent Evans Scholarship recipient, Jose P., sat down with Class of 2017 valedictorian and fellow Evans Scholar at Northwestern University, Melina Scofield, to share their experiences with nearly 50 curious freshman and sophomore Cristeros.
Question answered included: “What’s a caddie?” “How heavy are the bags?” “Do you still caddie after you got the scholarship?” “How much do you get tipped as a caddie?” (Melina’s best tip ever? “$350 from a Cristo Rey board member!”)
Since 1930, the Western Golf Association’s (WGA) Evans Scholarship has provided full college scholarships to promising student caddies of limited financial means, like Jose and Melina. Both worked as caddies for several summers prior to applying for the prestigious scholarship as seniors and acknowledge the need to build awareness of caddying and the Evans Scholarship among younger students.
Melina, also a Golden Apple Scholar and President of her Northwestern chapter, admitted, “I would not be an Evans Scholar without Cristo Rey – my college counselor told me about [the WGA’s] Caddie Academy program back when I didn’t even know what caddying was.” Jose, following the advice of his grandmother, walked into the Riverside Golf Club and applied for a job the summer after his freshman year. For him, “finding out about that scholarship kept me going for all those summers.”
Jose also reassured his younger classmates that caddying came easy after his first year at Cristo Rey: “The networking we practiced in Summer Business Training as freshmen helped – it definitely made things less awkward with the golfers…The time at my CWSP job helped me learn to build relationships with adults...They both build character – you have to be persistent and patient as a caddie, to keep showing up early every day, even when no golfer picks you.”
Next year, Jose will head off to school (and more caddying) at Marquette University, The University of Michigan, or Northwestern University on the full Evans Scholarship. Melina, entering her senior year at Northwestern, hopes to eventually come back and teach at Cristo Rey – “to teach students in need, because that’s what I grew up in.”
Both expect to see more Cristo Rey caddies on the course this summer.