Ds Scholarship

Midlothian Golf Caddie Turns Summer Job Into Full Ride To College

Oak Forest, Illinois – Oak Forest High School’s summer job at Midlothian Country Club has been turned into a full trip to college under the Evans Scholarship, the prestigious institution announced last week.

Nick Smith, 17, has been golfing for nearly six years. While the high school student said he hadn’t thought of using cans at first, a family friend convinced him to apply after their son became Evans’ researcher through the position.

In golf, caddies are people charged with not only carrying the player’s bag and clubs but also providing advice and moral support throughout the game. Oftentimes, caddies are assigned to a single golfer or course in order to develop a relationship and knowledge of the players’ games.

The Chick Evans Scholarship annually awards approximately 250 high school seniors with free tuition, room and board for four years of college. The prize is available to packs at select golf courses across the country to apply. According to Smith, leadership, caddy history, character, and academics are all put into the applications.

“I love that cans require consistency and perseverance and you can meet new people,” Smith said. “It’s exciting to be part of the team.”

Smith began carrying caddies during the summer with the intention of applying for an Evans scholarship once he was old enough, although he was initially unfamiliar with golf. Thrown into the lifestyle of long days in the sun, heavy bags and chasing behind golf carts, the 17-year-old said he’s since been seen and learned from “a great game of golf.”

The award is named after famed amateur golfer and Chicagoan Charles “Chick” Evans. According to the Western Golf Association, Evans earned a sum of money in 1921 that would have ended his career if he accepted. To put the money to good use, Evans told the family he wanted the money to get back into golf and create a scholarship for “qualified cans.”

Scholars are selected to attend one of the 21 colleges and universities that have the Evans Scholar Program established. There, students in the program will typically live together on a designated house or floor.

Smith said students will send their first four selections to the Evans Foundation, which will then place the most appropriate scholar. The Oak native told Forest Batch that his top choices are Northwestern University, Purdue University, Marquette University and Michigan State University.

While the program limits college options, Smith said those who win the scholarship get freedom once they arrive and aren’t required to carry a briefcase into college. He said he will likely return to Midlothian Country Club in the summer after his first year, but that he will be free for internships and other opportunities the following summer.

“It’s really the best job you could have during the summer,” Smith said when asked what he wished more people knew about cans. “It totally beats McDonald’s.”

“You will work for half that and you will make double to three times the money. Not only the money, but you will meet all these successful people and they can give you a way later in your career.”

Other Evans Local Scholarship recipients include Hannah Smith and Pablo Vicencio of Midlothian Country Club.

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