Meet Diego Ortiz, Food and Agriculture Program Coordinator at SPUR. Diego started his first season with us a volunteer coach. However, this season is not his first experience with TFTSV. From 2002-2007, Diego was a student of Eagles – a program TFTSV started at Rancho Del Pueblo before we became a licensed chapter of The First Tee. He came Eagles as a high school student on a school field trip and immediately developed a strong bond to golf and to his coaches.
One of his coaches was John Jasso, a current TFTSV Instructor and one of the founders of the Eagles Program at Rancho Del Pueblo Golf Course. Coach John would go house to house and school to school in East San Jose to promote the soon-to-be TFTSV program. Diego attended one of those schools and had the chance to experience a new opportunity with supportive coaches. According to Diego, “Coach John was a coach I always remembered as warm and welcoming to me. He made it easier to connect.”
Now 12 years later Diego has joined Coach John as a TFTSV volunteer coach, hoping to give back to the same East San Jose community he grew up in. Diego shared, “I believe this program is important for students in underserved communities. Golf provides an outlet for those facing tough times and a chance for students to branch out and explore experiences outside of their comfort zone.” In his short time back to our program, Coach Diego has found it rewarding to build positive connections with students, similar to the connections he experienced years ago.
TFTSV would like to thank Coach Diego and Coach John as well as the many other volunteers that make it possible for us to grow our program as the need for positive and caring life and golf skill volunteer coaches increases. “Developing interpersonal communication, self-management skills and our Nine Core Values with our participants can only be done through the support of positive and engaged coaches. We feel fortunate to have an outstanding team of committed coaches, and need many more to maintain the ratio we feel is critical to continuing our impact and reach throughout Silicon Valley,” says Program Manger Matt Sheppard.