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Futures into Focus: First Tee of Fresno & Luke Shrestha

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Luke Shrestha was a quiet, shy 10-year-old when he attended his first clinic at First Tee of Fresno, but through the years he learned foundational life skills that helped shape him into a college graduate and successful young professional.

When First Tee of Fresno first opened its doors in 2008, its founder, Michael Firpo, wanted to not only make golf more affordable and accessible to anyone who wanted to play, but also desired to use the sport as a way of instilling important life skills in young children and teenagers. EYE-Q was inspired by Michael and his mission, and they became the very first donor to the local non-profit.

The way he saw it, golf was an all-inclusive game where children could learn lessons on the course that could be applied off the course. He wanted to give kids the means to succeed in their adult lives through playing this unique game, and that’s just what Luke experienced when he joined.

©The First Tee Fresno

©The First Tee Fresno

Similar to other participants, Luke didn’t realize how much of an impact First Tee of Fresno had made in his life until he completed the program at age 18. After high school, he attended California State University, Northridge, where he was able to apply all of the lessons he learned: ethics, perseverance, and the importance of a strong handshake, among many other things.

By the time Luke began his first semester at CSU Northridge, he had become someone who was outgoing and confident in his abilities. Now, a college graduate, Luke is ready to face whatever is thrown at him because of everything he learned from the non-profit organization. One he specifically recalled was the acronym “STAR”—stop, think, anticipate and respond. According to Luke, it’s simple, it makes sense, and it’s important.

“This organization gave me the tools I needed to succeed,” said Luke. “I came out of my shell without ever realizing it, and that alone has made me more successful today.”

With the help of Michael Firpo and First Tee of Fresno, Luke became a man of confidence and integrity, and gained a love for golf along the way. EYE-Q is proud to support organizations that foster positive characteristics in the youth of our community.