Student Recognized as CTK's First Evans Scholar

Nelson ’22 and his family received some great news just before the Thanksgiving holiday. He was officially named a prestigious Evans Scholar, CTK’s first ever. The Chick Evans Scholarship overseen by the Western Golf Association is a full tuition and housing college scholarship for high-achieving caddies with limited financial means. To qualify, caddies must meet the requirements of having a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need, and outstanding character.

"We are proud of the dedication Nelson has put into his CTK schoolwork and caddying at Oak Park Country Club for the last 3 years.  Through his hard work. he has been awarded the life-changing opportunity of an Evans Scholarship. On behalf of the Oak Park Country Club, we wish him the best of luck as he pursues his and his family's dream of a college education."

Jordan Hadelman, Past President, Oak Park Country Club | Director, Western Golf Association 

We spoke with an excited Nelson soon after he learned he had received the Evans scholarship. See his responses below.

When did you start caddying, and how did you learn about the Evans Scholar opportunity?

I first started caddying at Oak Park Country Club (OPCC) the summer before my sophomore year. Representatives of the club came to CTK and told us about their caddie program, and the Evans Scholar opportunity. I have caddied there for 3 summers, part of my motivation was to keep up with the requirements for the scholarship, but I also have enjoyed it, met people, and learned about the game of golf and caddying. To be a good caddie requires me to be respectful, honest, flexible, hardworking, and positive.  

What was the application process?

You apply for the Evans scholarship in the fall of your senior year. The caddie manager, Scott Medin and the course manager, Mr. Carson, were supportive and kept us on our toes helping to ensure we did our best, but also about the steps in the application process. There is an online application to complete with personal and financial information and several essays. Ms. Sarah Burke, CTK College Counselor provided help when needed. After the application was completed, a virtual interview was set up for me with several Western Golf Association. I was extremely nervous before and during the interview, but everyone was nice and encouraged me to give my best.

How did you learn you had been awarded the scholarship? What was your reaction? How did it make your parents feel?

I was at my Corporate Work Study job at FlavorChem when my mother sent me a picture of the envelope that came in the mail. I asked her to wait to open it until I got home. I also told my co-workers, and they were very excited for me. I anxiously opened it later that night with my parents and younger sister. I read the award letter out loud, congratulating me on being awarded a Chick Evans Scholarship for full tuition and housing! I couldn’t believe it. My mother cried, and my dad gave me the biggest hug and told me he was proud of me. They were relieved and elated, because without the scholarship, they didn’t know how they could afford to send me to college. It was a weight off all our shoulders. I’m thankful for everyone who helped me.

What’s next for you, and what is your preferred college?

I need to finish my senior year strong. I selected three top schools on my application – Marquette University, The University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University. My preferred choice is Marquette. I have heard a lot of good things about the school and city. It’s closer to home and a mid-sized school. It’s also a Jesuit-Catholic school, and my Catholic faith is important to me and my family. I’ll make a final decision in the spring, but I am really looking forward to discovering new things in college, and possibly doing something in the medical field for my career.   

Congrats to Nelson and his family!