Empowering Kids With First Tee

Feb 26, 2024

By teaming up with youth development organization First Tee, we’re supporting their work of helping kids of all backgrounds build life skills through golf.

Key Takeaways

  • Morgan Stanley’s Eagles for Impact supports First Tee, a youth development organization that empowers kids to develop life skills through the game of golf, and its Coach Diversity Initiative.

  • Since 2017, we have donated $5,000 for each eagle made at THE PLAYERS Championship to a charity focused on empowering the next generation.

  • This year, to celebrate the tournament's 50th anniversary, Morgan Stanley is giving an additional $50,000 donation if players reach 50 eagles. 

  • Our donations have helped train more than 195 diverse coaches, who have mentored more than 44,000 First Tee participants. 

When you give the next generation of leaders the right tools, you help to create diverse game changers. That’s why Morgan Stanley, a proud partner of THE PLAYERS® Championship, uses its Eagles for Impact initiative to support First Tee, a youth development organization that empowers kids to develop life skills through the game of golf. 


Eagles for Impact takes place each year at THE PLAYERS Championship and donates $5,000 for each eagle made during the tournament to First Tee’s Coach Diversity Initiative, which trains professional coaches who serve as leaders for the youth they mentor in their communities. This year, to celebrate the tournament's 50th anniversary, Morgan Stanley is giving an additional $50,000 donation if players reach 50 eagles. Since 2017, Morgan Stanley has donated more than $1.68 million through Eagles for Impact. 


Morgan Stanley also brings the power of the firm’s insights to First Tee, kicking off tournament week with a group of First Tee coaches and participants from local chapters who will enjoy special programming in our 18th hole hospitality tent.  They will be hosted by Morgan Stanley senior leaders including Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley Senior Client Advisor and award-winning author. Harris, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council, has also been named to Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America and American Banker’s list of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance. Passionate about helping others, Harris will share the tools, strategies and pearls of wisdom honed by her experience in a fireside chat around leadership, mentorship and life lessons. 


“At Morgan Stanley, we believe that a more inclusive tomorrow starts today and are proud to continue supporting this impactful program that is committed to championing access for all,” says Alice Milligan, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Marketing Officer. 


Increasing Representation on the Links 

Greg McLaughlin, First Tee’s CEO, notes, “Our Chapters are a place where all people who come feel welcome. We feel strongly that having diverse coaches helps create space where every individual feels welcomed and where they can see themselves reflected.” 


But the children who take part in the program don’t just learn how to succeed at golf. First Tee coaches create learning experiences that build inner strength, which kids can carry to everything they do. “Our dedicated and trained coaches set First Tee apart,” says McLaughlin. “We have PGA of America and LPGA professionals who are experts at teaching golf, and that coupled with our training allows them to blend golf with character education, helping kids build self-confidence and resilience.”  


Coaches agree on the importance of both representation and life skills. “As an African-American woman, HBCU graduate (twice) and First Tee Coach, I want to say thank you to Morgan Stanley for the opportunity to participate in the Coach Diversity Initiative Program,” says a First Tee Lead Coach from Greater New Orleans. “Kids see themselves in the diverse representation of coaches. It is important to assist in the continued education and development of life skills and the recruitment and retention of diverse golf coaches to mentor the future generation of game changers.” 


From the Golf Course to the C-Suite 

Valerie Wong Fountain, Head of Morgan Stanley’s Family Office Resources Platform and Partner Management, knows just how instrumental golf can be in imparting life lessons. She’s a board member of both the Morgan Stanley Foundation and First Tee’s Metropolitan New York chapter, and has spent a decade spearheading efforts to introduce girls who take part in First Tee to the financial services industry. “Inherent to the game of golf are many of the values that matter in life, such as perseverance and the ability to overcome challenges,” says Fountain. “Through First Tee, kids not only learn important life skills, but also learn the power that golf can have to create personal and professional relationships.” 


Morgan Stanley hopes to help First Tee instill such lessons and encourage ambition in a new generation of leaders. Says Milligan, “Through our involvement with the First Tee Coach Diversity Initiative, we are proud to provide access to role models who can offer a vision for the future that encourages youth to dream big. The impact of this mentorship will be truly long-lasting. After all, if you see it, you can be it.” 

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