Lutzke and Stacy attended this five-day learning and empowerment academy and participated in important conversations around issues of identity, racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. The Academy builds throughout the week into a final outreach project in collaboration with DE&I leadership in the local host community.
Lutzke’s favorite part of the trip was going to downtown Philadelphia for the scavenger hunt. “It was fun to go around the city and see how big it is. This trip has allowed me to see a beautiful city with so much history behind it.” He also reflected, “My biggest takeaway from the Game Changers Academy would have to be that my perspective of diversity has changed and hearing everyone’s stories about their personal experiences with discrimination has made me want to stand up and say that discrimination is wrong and it needs to be stopped.”
Stacy reflected a similar sentiment, “I learned the differences between equity and equality, I learned about privilege and how we should use it to help those less fortunate, and I learned a lot about foreign countries and America thanks to the fact that I was lucky enough to be able to play golf with the former US Ambassador of Morocco.” He also had a favorite fun part in “…the water balloon fight. It was a big surprise and everyone was really into it!”
Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., First Tee’s CEO who retired in 2017 after 17 years of leadership, has always been an advocate for social justice and believes that First Tee has and always will be more than a game to young people. First Tee Game Changers Academy is the ultimate tribute to Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., a fearless champion of change.
This Academy is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters designed to inspire and encourage high school students on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.