The Clackamas senior receives the coveted Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship
Hard work in and out of the classroom and family loyalty paid dividends for Clackamas High School senior King Fok last month when Fok became one of eight Oregon high school seniors to receive a Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship.
The four-year scholarship to the University of Oregon covers tuition and housing and it is valued at over $70,000.
Fok, who has caddied at Waverley Country Club the last two summers, has a perfect 4.0 GPA for his four years at Clackamas High School.
It gives me a chance to pursue my dreams...., Fok said. Ive always wanted to go to college and become a doctor, and my parents always said that theyd try their best to find a way [to make it happen]. But until this scholarship, it was just a dream.... I wanted to go to college and become a doctor, but we didnt have the money to make it happen....
When I first learned that I got the scholarship, I was just shocked. I couldnt really believe it. I told my parents and they started crying. I told my sister, and she was crying. [This scholarship] means the world to me.
One of the reasons Fok first started caddying was to help his family out financially.
Fok has had more than his share of adversity.
As a child growing up in Hong Kong, he and his siblings suffered physical and mental abuse by a family caretaker.
And, as if that were not enough, at age 8 he was diagnosed with legg-calve-perthes disease, a painful degenerative disease of the hip. Hes been a regular at Shriners Hospital For Crippled Children since third grade.
Fok and his family moved to Clackamas from Hong Kong when he was six years of age.
My parents sold everything and immigrated to America because they wanted a better life and better education and opportunity for their kids, said Fok. Theyve sacrificed a lot....
Fok says his disease has led to his desire to become a doctor.
Ive been treated by an orthopedic surgeon since age 8, and I want to become an orthopedic surgeon, Fok said.
Among other Oregon seniors receiving the honor are: Alison Olson, La Salle Prep; Olivia Andersen and Meuy Saechao, Madison; Quy Hoang, Franklin; and Bandon High School seniors Shawn Peters, Alaina Russell and Jonathan White.
Fok said, When I look back on my life, I see a young man who beats the scars of his past, but strives to challenge himself each day. I have the ambition and the strength to accomplish my goals and, with the help of the Evans Scholars Foundation, Im confident in my ability to succeed.
Evans scholars are selected, based on demonstration of a strong caddie record, academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.
The Portland selection meeting was one of more than a dozen meetings the Western Golf Association is holding across the country through the end of March, with more scholarships to be awarded.
The WGA, headquartered in Golf, Ill., has administered the Chick Evans Scholarship program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golfs favorite charities, it is the nations largest privately funded, full-tuition and housing scholarship program.
Based on their excellence in the classroom and their service to their schools and communities, there is little doubt that these young men and women have earned this life-changing opportunity, said John Kaczkowski, president and CEO of the WGA. We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.
Recently the WGA and the University of Oregon announced a joint partnership to open a Scholarship House on campus. Though the program currently sends Scholars to school at Oregon, they do not live together in a Scholarship House, as they do at other chapters. Growth in the Pacific Northwest is a crucial component of the programs goal to send more than 1,000 caddies to college by 2020.
Currently, 840 caddies are enrolled in colleges across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 9,800 caddies, including nearly 200 from Oregon, have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles Chick Evans Jr.
Each of these caddies has his or her own incredible story of perseverance, hard work and strength in the face of dire and difficult circumstances, said Bill Ashenden, lead WGA Director in the state of Oregon. These are truly extraordinary young people who are more than deserving of this life-changing opportunity.
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by more than 26,000 golfers across the country, who are members of the WGA Par Club. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $6 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOURs FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Visit www.wgaesf.org for more information.