Kiana Coburn - From Caddying to College Scholarships - Youth on Course

Kiana Coburn – From Caddying to College Scholarships

I started caddying the summer after my Junior year of High School at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Oregon. The course is about 26 miles away from where I live in Vancouver, so it takes me about 45 minutes to get there and about an hour to get home due to traffic. With this in mind it was hard to be early on the list because other caddies lived much closer, but I had more patience since it would take me a while to get home anyway. I would arrive there at around 7:30 a.m, wait in the caddy shack for a loop for 3-4 hours, and then go out and caddy if it wasn’t a slow day. Sometimes I would wait until 2 in the afternoon to get a loop and end up getting home around 7 p.m. I went there about 3-4 times a week all summer until school started, and I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with the members and help their game in any way I could, as well as practicing the professionalism skills that I learned from Cascadia Tech.

I continued to caddie through my senior year and into the following summer where I then started my application for the Evans Scholarship. I knew that most applicants were meant to be high school seniors but I was hopeful that my letters of recommendation and academic achievements would make me just as competitive. Upon application I had acquired 78 loops and added more during the winter, however, my expectations were low. I knew that I would be heavily reliant on my academic record and evaluations to have a chance at being selected as a finalist, since many applicants would have many more loops than I did. So, during my Winter term I dove into my studies and set a goal to achieve a 4.0, in order to elevate my application. While this proved to be challenging I remained diligent and achieved this goal, which I think in combination with my other achievements and caddie record is the reason why I was selected.

Throughout this process over the past year I have learned so much about myself and my own capabilities, as well as how fortunate I am to be here. So many things had to come together to bring about this opportunity and I could not have achieved it without the experience of Youth on Course, Cascadia Tech, all of my teachers and mentors over the years, and especially my family. I am so grateful to have had the support to achieve this great honor and I am very excited to expand my college education. This summer I will still be a caddie at Waverley when the program is allowed to open up again, but I also have an official job as a bag room attendant. There I will be able to make some new connections and hopefully help the younger caddies who are striving for the Evans Scholarship, especially the few African American caddies in the program. I want to be able to show them that it is possible and be a role model for them to apply themselves academically, stay out of trouble, and work hard so that we can grow our representation within the Evans program.

I’m hopeful that in the future we will see more diversity in these amazing programs and continue to grow and expand these life-changing opportunities to more young adults. I am honored to be part of this program and it’s growth, and I can’t wait to help as many others as I can to get here too.