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Diversity & Inclusion
May 3, 2022

First Tee Entrepreneurs Program: Meet Lennard Long

The Morehouse College graduate is one of the selectees of the inaugural program for aspiring entrepreneurs.

A photo of a man on a golf course after he has hit a golf ball
Diversity & Inclusion
May 3, 2022

First Tee Entrepreneurs Program: Meet Lennard Long

The Morehouse College graduate is one of the selectees of the inaugural program for aspiring entrepreneurs.

For 25 years, First Tee has used golf to teach lessons about life, providing affordable and accessible programs for youth of all ages and backgrounds. Through active learning experiences, digital activities, and on-the-course instruction, First Tee empowers kids and teens to build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that they can carry to everything they do.

For a decade, Wells Fargo has been a proud supporter of First Tee. From 2012 to 2021, through the Wells Fargo Succeeding Together contest, thousands of First Tee participants submitted essays detailing what First Tee has meant to them, showing its positive impact across the country. Each year, one winner was selected to play in the Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am with a PGA Tour golfer.

This year, Wells Fargo and First Tee are expanding their relationship by debuting the First Tee Future Entrepreneurs program. Available to First Tee alums who attended or graduated from historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, the program will provide mentorship and networking opportunities for participants interested in business or entrepreneurship, as well as a spot in the Pro-Am with a PGA Tour golfer.

The inaugural selectees of the program, Jakari Harris from Hampton University, Lennard Long from Morehouse College, and Elijah Royal and Joia Robertson, both from Fisk University, were selected by a national panel, and submitted an essay application focused on their future aspirations for their careers, golf, and life.

Meet Lennard Long, a Morehouse College graduate living in Washington, D.C.

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‘You deserve to be here’

The life lessons learned from golf, Lennard Long said, are too many to list. But he tries anyway.

Confidence. Responsibility. Perseverance.

When his high school cut golf following his freshman season, the only way for him to compete regularly was to travel four times a week from Washington, D.C., to Maryland for tournaments.

“That was a hard ask for my parents,” he said. “It was a lot for all of us, and they moved mountains for me.”

For the first 12 years of Long’s life, he was dedicated to basketball until he decided to try something new — golf. His learning curve was steep — kids his age had been playing for five or six years, while Long didn’t understand the game’s basics.

A graduate in a cap and gown stands next to his father
“I see myself bridging the gap between the Black community and golf.” — Lennard Long, First Tee Entrepreneurs Program Participant

“My first time on the course it was me and my dad,” Long said. “We didn’t know anything. We bought a tee time, but didn’t know you needed balls, bags, clubs, and all that. We were completely lost. I’m looking at him for direction, and he’s looking at me.”

Soon thereafter, Long’s father found First Tee and signed his son up. As Long became more experienced on the course, he decided to dedicate himself to becoming a collegiate golfer. But he didn’t think he was prepared to play in college and wondered if he charted the wrong course all those years ago.

He reminded himself, as he learned at First Tee, to always be confident.

“You deserve to be here, that’s what I told myself,” he said.

Today, he works as the program and communications manager at First Tee – Greater Washington, D.C. This summer, he’ll start an MBA program at Georgetown University. He knows his future is tied to the intersection of sports and community service.

“I see myself bridging the gap between the Black community and golf,” he said. “[Golf has] been a space for networking and, unfortunately, without being included, Black people miss some of those opportunities. I want to help us be in the room and have a voice at the table.”

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