Dallas Student Earns Scholarship for Caddying

Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation | Image by Evans Scholars Foundation

Since 1930, the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholar Foundation have awarded the Chick Evans Scholarship to teen golf caddies as they prepare to attend colleges across the U.S., but it has rarely been awarded in Texas.

Only three caddies from the state have ever received the scholarship, and a Dallas high school student broke a drought of more than 60 years as she was awarded the Evans Scholarship earlier this year.

“It’s crazy,” Ashley Garcia told The Dallas Express. “I can’t believe it, honestly, and it’s kind of interesting because I feel like a lot of Texas people aren’t super familiar with the scholarship.”

Ashley Garcia | Image by Western Golf Association

Garcia is one of an expected 340 caddies who will receive the four-year, $125,000 scholarship providing full housing and tuition in the Class of 2024 nationwide. She didn’t start caddying until high school but quickly realized it could help her achieve the dream of going to college through the Western Golf Association’s (WGA) Caddie Academy in Chicago.

“At the beginning of my freshman year, I applied, and I think it was around seven girls from my school that applied, and only two of us were accepted for the program,” she explained. “… They’re flown out to Chicago and a whole bunch of different areas, and they’ll caddy for seven weeks, and that way they can work towards earning the scholarships.”

The program has awarded 12,000 scholarships since its inception and is continuing to grow and bring educational assistance to caddies who display a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need, and outstanding character. There are currently 1,130 Evans Scholars enrolled across 24 universities, a far cry from the two caddies awarded the scholarship in 1930.

Applicants can begin to apply during their senior year of high school or freshman year of college and will go through an interview process before final decisions in April. Garcia was chosen as a recipient after a December interview.

“It means a lot, honestly,” Garcia said.” I think that coming from where I don’t have the financial capabilities … to send me to college, I think that the Evans Scholarship is a fighting chance for me to be able to create a life in which I don’t have to worry about bills or tuition or choose between the two. It’s a blessing, for sure, for not just myself but for my family.”

While Garcia has not yet determined which college she will attend, she plans to pursue a career in health administration. The Evans Scholarship will allow her to take the first steps.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ashley to the Evans Scholars family,” WGA Chairman Steve Colnitis said in an official press release. “Her dedication in the classroom, on the golf course and in her community represents the best of what our Program has been about since 1930.”

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