SOUTHERN PINES, NC – The HV3 Foundation, with The United Way Summit & Medina and First Tee Greater Akron, are thrilled to introduce the HV3 Mentor Program to the Akron community on March 13. This program will give local youth the opportunity to receive mentorship and guidance as they embark on their journeys into adulthood. By working together with dedicated partners such as the United Way Summit & Medina and the First Tee Akron, the HV3 Foundation strives to make an even bigger impact in preparing the next generation of leaders for success through its mentor programs across different communities.
“Growing up, I never imagined that I’d have someone in my life that truly cared about me besides my parents,” said Harold Varner III, Founder and President of the HV3 Foundation. “But I was lucky enough to meet people who believed in me and made a difference in my life. That’s why it’s so important for me to use my influence as a professional golfer to give back to kids in my hometown of Akron. Making a difference outside of golf is something that has become important to me,” Varner explained. “No matter what I achieve professionally, if I can’t make an impact on the next generation then I don’t feel like I’m doing enough, and having an influence on these kids is something that can last a lifetime.”
The HV3 Foundation mentor program is designed to connect young participants with mentors that will help guide them in their future endeavors and build lasting relationships. By providing mentors and mentees with opportunities and events to meet both on and offline, these new relationships can build and flourish in different ways. The HV3 Foundation mentor program was created in 2021 with the First Tee Greater Charlotte to help develop girls and boys into productive adults. The Mentor program will also be expanding to Charleston, SC where the First Tee Greater Charleston will oversee the program there.
“Youth involvement in extracurricular activities has been shown to improve social skills, boost self-esteem and help lead to long-term success,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. “This is crucial to advancing our service work around education, with goals of boosting graduation and college/career readiness rates among Akron Public Schools students and expanding youth opportunities in our community. We’re proud to partner with the HV3 foundation on Youth United to connect caring adults with young people, so that the relationships they build can help students learn valuable social skills, explore their interests and stay on track for a successful future.”
Participants of The HV3 Mentor Program will gain invaluable experience both inside and outside of school while gaining access to key industry professionals which may lead them into new career paths or further education opportunities down the line. In addition, being part of this mentor-mentee relationship could open up new social circles through networking connections or even influence decisions on college majors or extracurricular activities such as music or sports development pursuits.
Interested donors, volunteers, and participants should visit https://hv3foundation.org for additional details.
About the First Tee Greater Akron
First Tee – Greater Akron is one of 150 First Tee chapters across the U.S. and select international locations. First Tee is a youth development organization that uses the game of golf to teach kids/teens life skills. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, we create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do. Our work at First Tee is not about improving your golf score… it’s about strengthening what you bring to everything you do, including golf. We believe every kid deserves the chance to build inner strength before the world demands it, to find the joy that comes with feeling confident in their own skin before the world makes it feel impossible, and to access experiences and spaces where personal growth happens. We exist to enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. Kids become a better version of themselves when they have the space to be who they are, surrounded by passionate people who guide them to see what they are capable of. In Summit County we build these opportunities and experiences through 6 program locations (Mud Run, BigShots Golf Firestone, Brookledge, Raintree, Lake Anna YMCA and Riverfront YMCA), 60 school program partners (30 of which are APS) and community partnerships (Akron Community Centers, Tiretown Golf Club, Akron Urban League and many more).
About the HV3 Foundation
Launched in January 2019, the HV3 Foundation gives aid to programs that allow youth to access golf and other sports. This 501 (c)3 foundation is the brainchild of Harold Varner III, who knows firsthand how prohibitive the cost of equipment, proper coaching, and access to courses can be in the game of golf. The mission of the HV3 Foundation is to provide affordable access to youth in sports. “It’s not just a game; sometimes it’s a chance at a whole new life,” said Varner. “Playing sports may lead to a new interest in school, career, college and beyond. It’s a great start for students of all ages and in all sports.”