Summer 2003 Forward to a Friend

  from schools in Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia participate year-round in the Youth Golf & Academics Program (YGAP). YGAP’s mission is to provide children with constructive activities after school and to enhance their academic performance. Subaru is proud to be a sponsor of this program.

Four days a week, approximately 150 children receive homework support and literacy tutoring, learn computer skills and are taught the fundamentals, discipline and fun of golf. Teachers select children who need something constant in their lives. Many also do not receive academic support at home.

“We’re part of the support network,” says Kerry Williams, executive director of YGAP. “We’re very much a partner with the schools and families.”

Children come to YGAP as first-graders and are eligible to remain until they enter fifth grade. There is no charge to their families for participation.

Why golf? According to Williams, it typically would be inaccessible to these children. In addition, golf offers a chance to learn honesty, integrity and a code of conduct. There are no referees in golf, Williams notes, so the children learn to be their own referees. Another consideration is that at this age, girls and boys can be on equal footing in golf.

Garry Maddox, a former Philadelphia Phillies star center fielder, is the organization’s founder and volunteers his time as president.

Funding comes from corporations, fund-raising events and grants. “We have great sponsors,” Williams says.

She points out that “Subaru does an incredible number of things for us.” YGAP receives an Outback vehicle each year. In addition, Subaru encourages employees to volunteer with the program during their working hours.

Subaru is the title sponsor of the Subaru/Spalding Celebrity Golf Tournament. The fourth annual tourney, a major fund-raiser for YGAP, was slated for July 18 at Little Mill Country Club in Medford, New Jersey.

Other programs around the country offer golf instruction for inner-city youths. However, Williams says, “what makes us unique is that we make an up-front four-year commitment” to the children. “Our level of commitment and involvement in the children’s lives is unusual for an out-of-school program.”