The Future Legends Scholarship and Mentorship program started at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club more than a decade ago, in honor of golf pro Chuck Courtney, and has continued to flourish thanks to the commitment of generous volunteers, many of them RSF residents. When Vearl Smith, one of the founding members and a passionate advocate for Future Legends, announced that he was going to be moving out of state, there was much discussion about how that would impact the current leadership roles. Smith felt that his position as Chairman should be filled by someone who not only has the skills to oversee a growing organization, but who also has a connection to the Club where it all began.
Enter Tim Cady.
Like most of the supporters of Future Legends, Cady first heard about the organization from Smith, whom he met at the Club four years ago. He liked the fact the organization emphasized mentoring along with financial support. Cady soon became a donor and had the opportunity to attend some of the events.
“Tim is going to be a tremendous asset to Future Legends and an important liaison for maintaining our long-standing relationship with RSF Club members,” said Vearl Smith of the Executive Board’s decision to appoint Tim Cady as Chairman. “He is well respected, and we are fortunate to have his willingness to help.”
As co-owner of the Carlsbad-based company, Advanced Diabetes Supply, Cady also brings 20+ years of experience running a business which he feels will benefit the organization. Even though he will serve as Chairmen, Cady will initially be participating as an observer as he learns more about the operations from other members who have served on the Board. Smith will continue as Founding Chairman, giving support where needed.
One of the visions that Cady hopes to fulfill in his new role is to organize more charity events and raise additional funds so that even more students can benefit from the support of this successful scholarship and mentorship program. Future Legends scholars have a 100% graduate rate, and several students are working toward their post-graduate degrees. Cady looks forward to learning other ways that he can contribute to the Mission of Future Legends after his first meeting with the Board where he will learn more about his role and responsibilities.
When asked about his decision to step into the position of Chairman, Cady stated, “Future Legends is a well-respected organization and I ‘believe’ I can make a difference.
An idea for college that started at the Rancho Santa Fe golf club.
Golf pro Chuck Courtney has a list of accomplishments that includes two National Junior Championships, recognition as a PGA Tour Pro, winner of two Tour events, listed in the San Diego State Hall of Fame, Pebble Beach Walk of Fame, and Head Professional at one of the nation’s top private clubs for 23 years. But it is Courtney’s lifelong service as a teacher and mentor that makes him an inspiration. The Future Legends Scholarship and Mentorship Program was established in his honor and sparked a lifelong vision for Founding Chairman Vearl Smith.
“This program has made a difference in the lives of 31 college students to date,” noted Smith. “Our vision is to be the finest mentoring and scholarship program in the country, and this can only be accomplished through the efforts and dedication of our donors and volunteers.” While Future Legends has come far in the 11 years since its inception, when long-time RSF resident Smith was preparing to move to Texas, he knew it was important to establish a leadership team that shared his same passion for the cause.
In addition to nominating Tim Cady as the new Chairman, Smith knew it was time to appoint a CEO to assist with the operations alongside the very talented Executive Board. With her background as an entrepreneur and her contributions as a philanthropist, Laura Kreiss was an obvious choice for the position.
Kreiss first learned of Future Legends about 5 years ago when she met Smith through a friend at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation where she was working on a film project. Smith’s enthusiasm was contagious, and she soon found herself participating on the Advisory Board, interviewing scholarship applicants. He continued to encourage her to take a bigger role in the program, but it wasn’t until Smith approached her prior to his departure that she was able to give it serious consideration. “The more I became involved in the program, the more I fell in love with its mission,” shared Kreiss. “Future Legends is not only creating a legacy for these students but also creating a better future for America.”
As CEO, Kreiss has specific goals for what she wants to accomplish in her new role. One of these is to continue to build a community that shares in the responsibility felt by all the Future Legends participants. She feels strongly that giving back to our youth is one of the greatest investments we can make as a society, and it is for the benefit of everyone. With a 100% graduation rate and additional mentorship support for these scholars, this organization speaks for itself. The key to longevity is creating a system of sustainable funding that will continue for years to come and Kreiss has the vision and passion to make this happen.
“It is truly a privilege to be a part of this program,” says Kreiss. “Our community has so much to offer, in both skills and finances, to be able to give kids better opportunities to further their education and succeed. We all want to leave the world a better place and Future Legends is one way we can do that.”
If you are interested in learning more about Future Legends and creating your own legacy, please visit www.futurelegends.org.
The Future Legends Selection Committee is proud to announce the newest recipients of their scholarship and mentorship program. The 2023 recipients include: Clara Steers, a senior at Pacific Ridge High School; Elsa Steers, a senior at Pacific Ridge High School; Ethan Hirschorn, a senior at Oceanside High School; and Drew Nelles, a senior at High Tech High Mesa.
This latest class of scholars have all achieved a grade point average of 4.0 or higher, in addition to taking honor classes, participating in sports and extracurricular activities, and displaying leadership amongst their peers by demonstrating initiative, determination, and commitment.
In an incredible testimony to the generosity of its donors, Future Legends is thrilled to announce that for the first time ever, this year they were able to bestow the scholarship on four students! The Selection Committee is composed of several volunteers who first review all the applications to narrow down the option to six applicants. They then spent all day Saturday interviewing these finalists to make the difficult decision of choosing the final four.
Each Spring, Future Legends bestows financial scholarships and mentorship programs to assist deserving scholars in the pursuit of their dreams of both undergraduate and post graduate educations. The submission process includes an online application, essay, teacher recommendations, academic transcripts, and live interviews. The newest scholars join 17 existing scholars studying at UCLA, UCSD, SDSU and CSSM, Westmont College in addition to scholars at Gordon College in Massachusetts, University of Michigan, Drexel University, John Hopkins University, and Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
Once awarded a Future Legends scholarship, the scholar’s partial tuition grant is renewable each year that the student remains enrolled in pursuing their degree. In the event that a scholar wishes to continue his or her education towards earning an advanced degree, Future Legends will continue to support that scholar in their endeavor. Currently, there are six scholars enrolled in advanced degree programs: one in law school, three in medical school, one in engineering, and one in environmental science. To date, this program has so far enabled 31 young men and women to successfully pursue undergraduate degrees.
In the national landscape of scholarship programs, a significant differentiator in the Future Legends program is the selection of a Mentor who is paired with a scholar within their field of study for guidance, career insights, and networking. Mentors are accomplished professionals in their respective fields who have dedicated themselves to developing this next generation of leaders. The result at Future Legends is a 100% graduation rate in 11 years of continuous operation.
“It is with excitement and pleasure that we award these scholarships to Clara, Elsa, Ethan and Drew,” stated Vearl Smith, Chairman of Future Legends. “Each has demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement and community involvement. We expect all three to excel as they pursue their goals to be legendary in their respective fields,” Smith concluded.
~Norma Wiberg, Director of Partnerships and Administration
The Mission of Future Legends is to mentor and award scholarships to deserving students in pursuit of higher education. This Vision, to be the finest program in the country of its kind, is only
possible through the selflessness and dedication of the mentors themselves. They are an
integral part of the success of Future Legends and their contribution is priceless.
Jim and Bev Boyce have been the Mentor Chairs for the past 10 years. They have nurtured the
mentorship portion of Future Legends from its humble beginnings into the flourishing program it
has today. After thoughtful consideration, they have made the decision to hand the baton to the next generation of volunteers. Founder Vearl Smith shared, “I am extremely appreciative of Jim and Bev’s time and commitment and am equally grateful to Jack and Sheila Giacomini for accepting the newly open position of Mentor Chairs and making this a seamless transition. We are very excited to experience continued growth under their leadership and care.”
~Norma Wiberg, Director of Partnerships and Administration
Future Legends held its 10th Anniversary Celebration on December 29th at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. As a longstanding part of their history and corresponding with college winter breaks, Future Legends celebrated their scholars and mentors during this holiday week in what has become an annual tradition. In attendance were many of the Future Legends scholars who are attending some of the top universities and colleges throughout the country in pursuit of degrees in law, medicine, science, and business.
This unique gathering also marked the 10-year anniversary of continuous operation for Future Legends and included many of the accomplished mentors who are credited in large part for the organization’s 100% graduation rate. According to Co-Founder and Mentorship Chair Jim Boyce, “Our mentors are absolutely the difference in our program when compared to other national programs and the results speak for themselves.”
The event also featured the announcement of a major gift from Future Legends Co-Founders Vearl and Mary Ann Smith. President Eric Manese shared, “Vearl and Mary Ann Smith have been the heartbeat of Future Legends since our inception, and we are deeply honored and grateful to be a beneficiary of the Smith’s estate plan through their major gift. This will ensure the organization’s stability and continuity for future generations of scholars to come.”
The evening was highlighted by two speeches from Future Legends Steven Sakara and Joshua Kapusinski. Steven Sakara is the first graduate of the program and now leads a New York based commercial real estate investment fund and current scholar Joshua Kapusinski is already a published author. All attendees received a signed copy of Joshua’s newly released book called “The Awakening” which is the first in a series of eight science fiction publications currently available for sale.
The Future Legends mission statement is to mentor and award scholarships to deserving students in pursuit of higher education and their vision is to be the finest scholarship and mentoring program in the country shaping our next generation of leaders.
About Future Legends
Future Legends is a Rancho Santa Fe -based 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing mentors and financial support to deserving high school seniors embarking on college education. In addition to academic support, Future Legends also provides life skills training, empowering scholars through its emphasis on both education and values. Founded by Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in 2012 honoring retired Head Professional Chuck Courtney, the program sponsors scholars studying a wide range of majors including the arts, biochemistry, computer sciences, medical, law, business and environmental sciences at colleges and universities throughout the country.
With a 100% graduation rate to date, Future Legends attributes its success to the mentorship program which pairs scholars with qualified mentors within their field of interest and study. The result is a deep connection that provides personal and professional support to its scholars.
On Tuesday November 12, Future Legends kicked off the organization’s first-ever annual fundraising appeal under the banner of “Create New Legends.” The campaign is supported by outreach to supporters and influencers in the community via direct mail, email, social media, video and a holiday event. With an ambitious goal of raising $250,000, this is the largest funding initiative since the organization was founded. The overall objective is to expand the ability to offer this life-changing program to more deserving students and establish a strong foundation to ensure Future Legends continues to do good works for many years to come.
The Future Legends Selection committee deliberated at length over an outstanding group of candidates this year. Three scholars emerged and have been inducted as 2019 Future Legends. Congratulations Lili Gomez of Valley Center High School, Karina Garcia of Hoover High School and Joshua Kapusinski of The Cambridge School. Each student will be awarded with tuition assistance while they pursue bachelor’s degrees in college. They will also enjoy the advisory benefits of Future Legends network of expert Mentors. Lili has been accepted to UCSD and will study Biology. Josh has been accepted to Grove City College in Pennsylvania and will study English/Pre-Law. Karina has been accepted to UCLA and will study Human Biology & Society.
Have a vehicle you’re no longer using? Consider donating it to benefit Future Legends. That’s the choice that Dr. Larry and Anne McCarthy made recently with their GMC Denali. Future Legends handled all the details making it a smooth transaction for these generous supporters. Special thanks to Helen Dizio and Chuck Courtney for their extraordinary efforts to open up a new donation pathway for deserving and amazing college-bound students.
The Change Giving App is one of the many ways to provide financial support to Future Legends. Shaun White, the US Olympic and X-Games multiple gold medalist, proudly displays his support of The Global Action Sports Foundation through Change Giving. It’s another example of legends supporting Legends.
Pepperdine University has made Future Legends part of the institution’s plan for growth through major gifts. The Chancellor and University leadership team outlined their support at a meeting on campus. Their collaborative spirit will advance the needs of others pursuing growth through higher education.
The Global Action Sports Foundation and Future Legends announced a cooperation agreement based on their shared mission of supporting young people. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk works through GASF to empower athletes and encourage the growth of action sports around the world. It’s another example of legends supporting Legends.
NFL Hall of Famers Dermontti Dawson, a legend of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Andre Reed, a Buffalo Bills legend, met with Future Legends co-founder Vearl Smith and president Eric Manese to discuss their shared support of helping students achieve greatness. It’s another example of legends supporting Legends.