Editor's Note: The PGA WORKS Scholarship Application window is now open. These $8,000 scholarships are designed to improve the recruitment and retention of talented and motivated students from diverse backgrounds, who are pursuing PGA Membership through PGA Golf Management University Programs nationwide. Visit learnmore.scholarsapply.org/pgaworks/ to apply today. The deadline is January 28.
The PGA WORKS Scholarship is one aspect of PGA REACH that shows just how powerful the golf industry is and will continue to be in the future for diverse talent.
One PGM program, namely UNLV, is proving itself to be a place where PGA WORKS Scholars are continuously molded by the likes of experienced PGA Professionals and alumni like Kendall Murphy, PGA. Since 2017, UNLV has had three winners of the PGA WORKS Scholarship, in Luka van der Merwe, Jerrell Parrish, and Leah Im.
Luka van der Merwe earned the 2019 PGA WORKS scholarship. The first UNLV student to receive a PGA WORKS Scholarship, she is also a member of the UNLV Women’s Golf team. Luka’s goal as a PGA member is unique, as she hopes to one day receive her Master’s and impact the next generation of PGM Students as a Professor with certifications in American Sign Language.
“One day I hope to receive my master’s degree and then become a professor at one of the eighteen accredited PGA PGM Programs around the country,” added van der Merwe. “My mentors have helped my passion for the game go past what’s done on the course. Now it’s about helping others understand all the industry has to offer, like PGA WORKS, just like they did for me.”
One 2020 PGA WORKS Scholar from UNLV is Leah Im. A lifelong Las Vegas resident, she knew from the start of her college search that UNLV was the place to be.
“I grew up in Las Vegas, and I really didn’t want to go out of state because of UNLV”, added Im. “I knew they had the perfect opportunity for me to continue my education while combining it with my passion for golf. Now after winning the PGA WORKS Scholarship, I know I made the correct choice in the beginning.”
Jerrell Parrish is the other 2020 PGA WORKS Scholar, who already has a plethora of experience in business and serving his country. Currently an Air Force Reserve member and former college golfer at Bethune-Cookman University, Parrish looks to one day serve the golf industry with all the tools he’s learned early on in his career.
“I chose to attend the PGM school here because of the reputation UNLV has in the city and the resources they provide their students” added Parrish. “You’re a student, but you’re going to school for something so unique. Being able to give back to the golf industry, our country and the student body as a future Pro is something I truly look forward to.