Forming Relationships to Expand Diversity and Develop Youth
The FREDDY Initiative is a program designed to give special internship opportunities in the golf industry to individuals that show an interest in golf and would strongly benefit from a mentorship relationship.
Founded in 2020 to honor the legacy of Sean K. “Freddy” Fredrickson, an award winning PGA Golf Professional, Sean set a high bar for his fellow professionals. His belief in providing opportunities for underprivileged youth was second to none. Through his involvement with his home clubs and as a leader in the Oregon Chapter and Pacific Northwest Section PGA, Sean led the charge to bring mentoring to the conversation throughout our association. He personally started the first Mentoring Committee and later assisted in developing the first Mentoring Conference in the nation, as he saw the importance in giving back to others as he benefitted from those before him.
Sean’s surviving spouse, April Upchurch Fredrickson, has formed a foundation – The Fredrickson Family Memorial Foundation, Inc. – to create an avenue for the PGA to assist her in efforts to perpetuate Sean’s vision. As Sean believed that we all benefitted from and through mentoring, our goal and purpose of this Initiative becomes more clearly defined.
OUR GOAL: To provide opportunities to underrepresented youth and young adults. Offering them a chance to gain experience in the golf industry at green grass facilities, opening doors to the many career pathways that the golf industry has to offer. Individuals in the FREDDY Initiative will be mentored by PGA Professionals and their staffs at these facilities gaining first hand working knowledge of the golf industry while networking with various departments in the overall facility.
ELIGIBILITY: This initiative is open to all individuals that can legally apply for employment and also qualify under that participating club’s employment protocols. Although not limited to just minors, females, and/or persons of low socioeconomic backgrounds, this Initiative is founded to give opportunities to those individuals that would not normally be afforded the opportunity.
Q: What does a FREDDY Initiative internship look like?
A: At this time, we are modeling the internship to be a full time, seasonal internship in the Northwest. Generally speaking, it will last from June to September, depending upon the school year of the intern and the golf season and needs of the facility.
Q: Is it a paid internship and what is in it for the intern?
A: Yes, the Club will hire and pay the employee a fair wage according to that Club’s employment policies. The Intern will receive compensation for his/her work, will be exposed to the multi facets of the golf industry, will be provided playing and practice opportunities at the golf course, and other benefits associated with that Club.
Q: How does one apply for the internship if interested?
A: There is an application process to become a FREDDY Intern. There will be specific criteria and eligibility that is still being developed. If a facility is interested and has a potential candidate, the lead professional may assist the applicant and apply.
Q: What if a facility doesn’t have a candidate but would like to participate in the program?
A: The FREDDY Initiative is working with various organizations to promote the program, and we will assist Clubs that don’t have candidates to place individuals upon mutual agreement between both parties.
Q: How will the interns travel to and from the facility to home?
A: At this time, we will not be able to provide transportation for the interns. Interns must be able to provide their own transportation to their Club.
Q: What protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of my son or daughter?
A: The FREDDY Initiative will require all adults that are responsible for the transportation and/or mentoring of the interns to complete criminal background checks and education to ensure safe oversight of all minors (and young adults) in the program. Safety will be priority one of the program.
Q: Who oversees and/or is responsible for the FREDDY Initiative?
A: The Fredrickson Family Memorial Foundation, Inc., will be the parent organization that will oversee the FREDDY Initiative. Their Board of Directors will have oversight to the program. Participating member clubs will have legal responsibility for the employment of all individuals enrolled in the Initiative at the participating clubs and will be responsible for directing and controlling the intern’s work
Q: What does a ‘typical’ internship consist of?
A: Although no two golf facilities are the same, the FREDDY Initiative will have required ‘checkpoints’ that will allow each participating club to provide a similar experience. Examples include: working in the pro shop behind the counter performing general customer service duties, hosting member or guest play on the 1st tee, learning to marshal the golf course and ensure proper pace of play, assisting with tournament operations at the club, learning and assisting with the merchandise concession, attending a committee or governance meeting at the club, shadowing or assisting with a club membership tour, and assisting with golf lessons or clinics with the professional staff. Again, the goal is to provide a well-rounded experience at each participating club.
Q: When can we apply, and when does the program begin?
A: This initiative is still being finalized, and we anticipate final approval in the fall. Our goal is to open applications by January 1, 2021, and begin internships at a limited number of clubs in 2021.
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