Youth Outreach

How did you get your start in the industry? Maybe you’ve always been around golf, or maybe it was a part-time job when you were in high school. GCSAA’s youth outreach efforts are avenues to reach young people when they are still answering the question, “what’s next?” Whether you are looking for summer help or interested in encouraging the next generation of golf course management professionals, check out the outreach opportunities below. If you have any questions reach out to Leann Cooper, senior manager, First Green and workforce development.
South Fork High School

GCSAA encourages its members and chapters to act as a resource to their local community by participating in career fairs. Career fairs are different from job fairs in that they are typically more of a student career exploration event. These can be conducted at a golf course, in the school and occasionally as part of a larger trade show event with other professionals. Check out the resources below to assist with exhibiting at a career event, giving a career overview at a school, or discussing salary possibilities with students, teachers and parents.

Career Fair resources

Golf Course Career Presentation

Career Flyer

Salary Infographic 2023

The National FFA Organization, commonly known as FFA, is a distinguished youth leadership and educational organization in the United States, dedicated to fostering the growth and development of future leaders in agriculture and related fields. With a rich history dating back to its founding in 1928, FFA has evolved into a diverse and inclusive organization, welcoming students from all backgrounds interested in agricultural education. The National FFA boasts a robust membership, with more than 800,000 student members who are part of more than 8,600 local chapters nationwide.

GCSAA is engaged in several initiatives with national FFA, including exhibiting each year at its national conference, GCSAA staff participation on FFA committees and working with GCSAA-affiliated chapters and members to encourage the expansion of a Turfgrass Career Development Event (CDE) at the state level.

Engaging with local FFA chapters can be a rewarding experience, whether as an individual or as a chapter, if you are interested in connecting with teachers and youth who are interested in agricultural education and leadership development – FFA is for you. Here are some ways you can get involved with your local FFA chapter and their students.

  • Contact your state’s FFA: If you do not have a contact with a local chapter, start by contacting a staff member at your state’s FFA chapter. He/she can locate and help you reach out to your nearest chapter. Find state staff.  
  • Reach out to your local chapter’s advisor. The advisor is typically a teacher or educator at the school. They can provide you with information about the chapter's activities, upcoming events, and opportunities for involvement.
  • Volunteer as a Mentor or Speaker: Offer your expertise in a particular area of agriculture or related field by volunteering as a mentor or guest speaker during chapter events or workshops. Sharing your knowledge and experiences can inspire and educate FFA members.

FFA resources to help you connect with FFA

State Turfgrass CDE Example

Golf Course Visit Agenda

GCSAA’s First Green program is a STEM and environmental science outreach program that brings K-12 students out of the classroom for a hands-on field trip using the golf course as a living laboratory. Golf course superintendents utilize prepared lesson plans to engage young minds all through the lens of golf course management. GCSAA’s First Green has had 11,000 students from around the country participate and is a terrific community outreach and career exploration program.

First Green resources

Sample Agenda

Teacher Flyer

Jobs for America's Graduates, or JAG, is a school-to-career program implemented in 1,000 high schools, alternative schools, community colleges, and middle schools across the United States and the United Kingdom. GCSAA supports JAG by connecting members to local chapters to serve as speakers, host an interactive tour at a golf facility and assist interested young people in job shadowing experiences and working on golf courses.

If you are interested in participating in employer events with JAG contact Leann Cooper, senior manager, First Green and Workforce Development.

Find out more about JAG.