Making Science Fun – Chevron STEM ZONE

Gone are the days where learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) was limited to worksheets textbooks, and vinegar/baking soda volcanoes.

Enter Chevron STEM ZONE – where learning is disguised by hands-on activities and engaging students through their natural curiosity.

“The amazing thing about STEM is that it is at work all around us,” said Steve Green, vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Chevron, “including in the sports you watch and play.”

In 2012 Chevron partnered with the United States Golf Association (USGA) to bring STEM to life for the next generation of golfers. Through their multimedia exhibit – known as the STEM ZONE – Chevron demonstrates the science of golf at numerous tournaments throughout the country each year.

“Our goal is to make STEM fun,” Green reported. “The kids that come through are learning all sorts of technical and scientific information, but they don’t always realize that – because to them, it’s just fun.”

This week, Chevron STEM ZONE can be found next to the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links for The Nature Valley First Tee Open.  Hundreds of Northern California youth will explore the STEM side of golf. Participants investigate air pressure, range of motion, biofeedback, momentum, agronomy, aerodynamics and thermal imaging  - all with direct ties to the game of golf.

Walking through the STEM ZONE, participants are encouraged to touch, question, press, push and even launch things. Hands of participants shoot up in the air when asked to volunteer or answer questions – even from kids that may not be eager to participate in school. The overall goal is to make STEM approachable.

“We believe STEM education is a national imperative – it is vital to innovation and our country’s overall economic strength and competitiveness,” Green said. “Our efforts to support STEM education aims to arm students with the critical skills they need to succeed in their future careers—whether at Chevron or in other industries.”

Chevron has supported numerous Youth on Course scholarships for individuals entering STEM fields of study. In 2014, Youth on Course had 16 such scholarship recipients. By providing access to fun learning early on, Chevron hopes to inspire youth to explore careers in STEM.

“Despite the growing demand for technical jobs in the modern economy, science and math achievement scores in the U.S. are below those of other developed countries,” Green explained. “Investing in today’s youth will help our country build a highly skilled and technically proficient workforce that can compete for – and excel in – the careers that fuel innovation and help solve some of our biggest challenges.”

Youth on Course is proud to partner with Chevron and continue to expose youth to STEM education opportunities. Golf may seem like just another sport – but it can open up a whole host of learning opportunities.



Youth on Course distributes $150,000 to deserving high school graduates

The mission of Youth on Course is to provide youth with links to a better future – and on Wednesday, thirty-seven futures got a whole lot brighter.

Nearly 150 people gathered at Lake Merced Golf Club for the inaugural Youth on Course Scholarship Luncheon, where 37 high school seniors formally received Youth on Course scholarships. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom was in attendance to congratulate recipients. Awards totaled $150,000 given in recognition for students’ outstanding community stewardship, academics and personal achievements.

Each YOC scholarship recipient was handed an official certificate from Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom

Each student received at least $4,000 towards college education.

But that wasn’t all.

Thanks to generous donations from First Republic Bank and Sony, each recipient went home with a brand new Sony Xperia tablet to help them on their way.

Each award recipient was selected out of a pool of more than 400. The candidates had to submit extensive applications, letters of recommendation and demonstrate academic excellence. 50 Finalists were interviewed before the final selection of 37 scholars.

Of the 37 awardees, 20 will be the first in their family to attend college. 19 have connections to the golf industry, and the average GPA for the award winners was 3.91. In total the group had more than 4,000 hours of community service in high school.

This scholarship luncheon was the first of it’s kind for Youth on Course, but will continue as an annual event.

Charlotte Woo pictured with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

Newsom addressed the crowd stating the importance of finding a passion and learning lessons from failure, reminding them of the old adage, ‘Success is often defined as the ability to move from failure to failure with enthusiasm.’

“Life is not about being something, it’s about doing something,” Newsom said.

Joining Newsom on the stage was 2010 Youth on Course scholarship recipient, Veronica Zavala, who will graduate this month from Santa Clara University as a first generation college graduate and is currently working for Google. 2014 scholar Kelsey Wong also spoke, thanking donors and describing her journey towards higher education.

“Receiving this Youth of Course scholarship, it feels like people are holding my hands,” Wong said. “Thanks for that hand. Thank you for letting me take the first step toward pursuing my higher education.”

Introducing, the Youth on Course Class of 2014:

  • Alberto Alvarado of Santa Rosa will attend UC Santa Barbara to study Economics (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Annika Anderson of Sacramento will attend UC Berkeley to study Molecular Biology (Linda Y. Rindt)
  • Elizabeth Azevedo of Merced will attend University of Michigan to study Communications (Thompson Family Scholar)
  • Kelsey Belli of Vacaville will attend Chico State (Honors Program) to study Foreign Linguistics (Thawley Family)
  • Angela Brown of Oakland will attend American University in Washington DC to study International Studies (George Miller)
  • Sammy Carey of Clovis will attend UC Davis (Honors Program) to study Political Science (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Zaria Clemmons of San Francisco will attend Agnes Scott College in Georgia to study Communications (Amelia Thornton)
  • Zenay Clemmons of San Francisco will attend Agnes Scott College in Georgia to study Business and International Studies (Dr. Bettye Saxon)
  • Noe Garza of Selma will attend Fresno Pacific University to study Biology (Tom Carter)
  • Stephanie Giori of Arcata will attend UC Davis to study Genetics (Linda Y. Rindt)
  • Eulalia Gutierrez Garcia of Hollister will attend Cal Poly to study Business (Chevron)
  • Craig Kampen of Visalia will attend UC Davis to study Medical Engineering (Cheryl & Dan Hansford)
  • Vanessa Li of San Francisco will attend UC Berkeley to study Public Health (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Eric Medina of Fort Bragg will attend UC Santa Cruz to study Political Science (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Jacqueline Medina of Salinas will attend Fresno State to study Agricultural Business (Paul Porter Memorial)
  • Emanuel Nunez of Gustine will attend UC Merced to study Biology (Chevron)
  • Kishan Patel of Santa Cruz will attend UC Davis to study Biology (Chevron)
  • Paulina Prasad of Sonoma will attend Boston University to study International Relations (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Max Reichart of Forest Hill will attend Cal Poly to study Communications/Journalism (Mike Cinelli)
  • Dreama Rhodes of Merced will attend UCLA to study Mathematics (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Palmer Runberg of Willits will attend UC Santa Barbara to study Film (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Lilavaline (Tina) Saensombath of Fresno will attend Fresno State to study Biology (Chevron)
  • Christopher Seruge of San Francisco will attend UC Santa Cruz to study Computer Science and Robotics (Linda Y. Rindt)
  • Anthony Speer of Merced will attend Fresno Pacific to study Pre-Physical Therapy (Chevron)
  • Zhicong (Brian) Wang of San Francisco will attend UC Berkeley (Linda Y. Rindt)
  • Samuel Waterstone of San Anselmo will attend UC Santa Barbara (Stephanie & David Baker)
  • Jantel Wells of Sacramento will attend UC Merced to study Applied Mathematics (Nancy & Bill Hammonds)
  • Frances Wilson of Hanford will attend Fresno State to study Criminology (Anne Kezirian)
  • Kelsey Wong of Fremont will attend UC Berkeley to study Political Science (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Charlotte Woo of San Francisco will attend New York University to study Computer Science (Chevron)
  • Theresa Woods of Sonora will attend San Diego State to study Biomedical Engineering (Mark Cooley)
  • Desirae Woodson of Yuba City will attend Chico State to study Liberal Studies (Paul & Diane Morton)
  • Xiaofan Wu of San Francisco will attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts to study Political Science (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Min Ying Yang of Oakland  will attend UC Berkeley to study Applied Mathematics (Stacey Baba)
  • Jasmine Yiggins of Clearlake will attend California State University East Bay to study Nursing (Bill Hauck Memorial)
  • Michael Yussuf-Mounthault of Oakland will attend UC Santa Cruz to study Legal Studies (Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund)
  • Xiao Yan (Kelly) Zhao of Tai Shan, China will attend UC Berkeley to study Linguistics and Education (Jaunich Family)


Morning Drive: Youth on Course

Youth on Course recently received high praises from Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella on The Morning Drive.

Check out the clip here:

Corey Pavin Southern California Invitational

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Youth on Course was strongly represented at the inaugural Corey Pavin Southern California Invitational.

Presented by SCPGA Junior Tour, the Corey Pavin Southern California Invitational took place Jan. 25-26, 2014 at Maderas Golf Club in Poway, Calif.  The 54-hole event featured 90 exclusive junior players from around the world competing for the title. 60 boys and 30 girls participated in the event that ran simultaneously with the Farmers Insurance Open held at Torrey Pines. The juniors were able to attend the Farmers Insurance Open as part of the Southern California Invitational.

Of those competing, six current and former Youth on Course members were present. Seb Crampton of Pacific Grove (YOC Monterey eClubhouse member) took home the title at the event after carding 3-under-par 213 in the three day event. Crampton narrowly beat former YOC member, Cameron Champ of Sacramento. Crampton and Champ were tied at 142 heading into the final round. 1-under-par 71 in the final round was enough for Crampton to take home the trophy – but only by one stroke. Champ finished tied for second with 2-under-par 214.

YOC member Blake Abercrombie of Rocklin finished tied for 45th place. Amay Poria of Morgan Hill finished tied for 51st place, and David Laskin of Elk Grove finished 59th.

In the Girls Division, Emily Laskin of Elk Grove represented YOC finishing in 20th place.

Congratulations to all YOC members that participated in the Corey Pavin Southern California Invitational!

January Member of the Month

2014 is here and Youth on Course has some exciting resolutions for the new year.

With over 9,000 members annually, Youth on Course is consistently represented by talented, smart and interesting individuals throughout Northern California. This year, one of our goals is to recognize our outstanding members. Beginning with Zachery Pollo.


Pollo continues to excel on the golf course. He recently won the Little Linkers for his age category.

Pollo is a 4th grade honor roll student with a perfect attendance record. The Rocklin, Calif., native started swinging golf clubs at the driving range at the age of four. By age seven, Pollo was playing full rounds. Now nine, Pollo has continued to excel and consistently shoots in the low 80s. In his first tournament, one that included three rounds of  9 holes, Pollo dominated his age category and won by eight strokes. Pollo was also the champion of the Little Linker event for his age category. His favorite course is Haggin Oaks in Sacramento where he recently shot 7-over-par 79 from the Tan tees.


Pollo, pictured center, won the Eppie's Kids duathlon for his age category for the third year in a row.

Off of the golf course, Pollo lives an extremely active lifestyle. In his spare time, the nine year old enjoys hiking, biking, snowshoeing and running. This last summer, Pollo won the Eppie’s Kids duathlon –  a running/biking event – for the third time in a row, and he hopes to be a professional cyclist someday – if becoming a professional golfer doesn’t work out, that is.

Lofty goals are nothing new for Pollo.


Zachery Pollo pictured with his parents during one of their numerous mountain hikes.

At the mere age of six, he climbed White Mountain -a 14 mile hike with an elevation above 14,000 feet. At the age of seven, Pollo took to Mt.Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States, for a 22-mile hike.  Pollo has also climbed Mt. Elbert in Leadville, Colo., the second highest mountain in the lower 48 states.  Most recently, Pollo conquered Mt. Langley in August, marking his fourth climb with an elevation over 14,000 feet. Pollo and his father have hiked or snowshoed to over 75 mountain peaks across eight states.

Youth on Course salutes Zachery Pollo for all his hard work on and off the golf course. Pollo exemplifies what it means to be a member of Youth on Course as he continues to excel academically, set and achieve goals, thrive in healthy lifestyle activities and stand out on the golf course. Congratulations Zachery on becoming our very first Youth on Course Member of the month.


Know a Youth on Course member that deserves to be recognized? Let us know about him or her by contacting Lindsey Novitzke by email – and by filling out our Member of the Month submission form by clicking this link.



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