Shining on and off the green: SWFL teen golfers awarded full-ride scholarships

Two teens represented Southwest Florida on the national stage before even graduating high school.

Now, they’ll swing into the future with a little help from SWFL.

From a young age, golf gave Sophie Shrader and Vivian Guite much more than new sports skills.

“When I first started it, I really lacked confidence being the only Asian in my class and a minority in Naples, Florida, but they pushed me throughout golf and there’s social acceptance,” Guite said.

From fitting in, to giving back, these teens shined on and off the green, earning a spot in tournaments like the Chubb Classic and the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach.

“Now they’re graduating high school and they’ve been successful,” said Cindy Darland, executive director for The First Tee of Naples/Collier.

The First Tee is a positive youth development program that teaches character development and core values through the game of golf, she says.

Now, Darland is proud to present the girls with full-ride scholarships from the program.

“I’m planning to major in biomedical sciences,” Guite said.

“I was so excited,” Shrader said. “It really means a lot.”

Congrats to these two Collier County golf stars, swinging into their next chapter.

Shrader will play gold for the University of West Florida next year, while Guite will play at USF.

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