October 13, 2020

Catching up with Tiger Woods Invitational’s inspiring speakers

Over the years, the Tiger Woods Invitational presented by USLI has featured numerous members of the Earl Woods Scholar Program, a signature program of TGR Foundation. The scholars have been involved in the event in a number of ways, including being the featured speaker during the Welcome Dinner. The Welcome Dinner is hosted by Tiger Woods and Tom Nerney, CEO of USLI, and is a highlight annually for everyone in attendance. 

We recently caught up with a few of our Earl Woods Scholar alumni who joined us at the dinner in years past 

Vina Vo – Earl Woods Scholar class of 2012

2011 featured speaker

After starting my career in management consulting, I moved on to work with education leaders across the United States where I discovered my passion to build communities and networks. I am currently running my own consulting practice to support teams and organizations that make transformational changes in their company’s work culture.  

The highlight for me was meeting the supporters of the foundation who came from all different fields but were drawn together through their passion for education. That night when I spoke in front of so many people, I realized the power and necessity of storytelling as a way to illustrate the realities for so many marginalized students.  

One word to describe my time as an Earl Woods Scholar is nurturing.

Yeon Jin Lee- Earl Woods Scholar class of 2012

2012 featured speaker

I am finishing up my last semester of the Masters of Fine Arts Program in Film and TV Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. I am currently developing feature scripts and looking for a full-time job in the media industry.  

A highlight from the Tiger Woods Invitational was reading my story out loud in front of the guests and being received with the warmest response and words of encouragement. At the end of the speech, people at my table and then the rest of the room stood up to clap and cheer and I felt validated and empowered by their positive response and support. 

One word to describe my time as an Earl Woods Scholar is family.

In 2019, Yeon Jin interviewed Tiger Woods and produced this feature

Kevin Nguyen – Earl Woods Scholar class of 2015

2015 featured speaker

am currently working full-time as a software engineer, product owner, and team lead at AT&T, leading the team on cloud technology development in Amazon Web Services. While working full-time, I completed my Master of Business Administration with a focus on Management, Strategy, and Consulting as of this past December. 

few highlights from the event were speaking in front of all the distinguished guests, being able to share my story, and afterwards receiving such warm words of welcome and encouragement. Getting to connect with all of the amazing TGR Foundation supporters, hear their own stories, and experiencing that evening inspired me to continue to work hard and fueled my passion to keep pushing on, hopefully, one day allowing me to give back similarly in my own community and to this amazing TGR Foundation community as well. 

One word to describe my time as an Earl Woods Scholar is community.

Anthony “Tony” Armas – Earl Woods Scholar class of 2016

2017 featured speaker

I am currently living in Anaheim and working in Newport Beach as a Senior Specialist at PARS, a company that offers and administers different retirement plans for public agencies.

A highlight from the event was that the venue was absolutely gorgeous. However, being able to speak and share my story is what really still resonates with me. I know everyone has their own story but I felt like I was still able to speak on behalf of many others that had similar upbringings.  

One word to describe my time as an Earl Woods Scholar is motivating.

Tony summed up the feelings of many of the Earl Woods Scholars:  “The foundation provided the resources and taught me to be the best version of myself. That is something that truly resonates with me today. From bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything you do.”


The Earl Woods Scholar Program is funded through TGR Live’s portfolio of events including the Tiger Woods Invitational presented by ULSI. Click here to learn more about the Earl Woods Scholar Program and ways you can support and mentor students on their path to success.