August 08, 2023
In 2021, Congaree Foundation and Coastal Carolina University (CCU) partnered in the creation of the Congaree Foundation Scholarship. This year, the Foundation is thrilled to announce its first recipient.
Jones Saylor, A 2022 graduate of the Congaree Global Golf Initiative will enroll in CCU’s PGA Golf Management program this fall. A native of Bluffton, SC, Saylor recently completed a stellar senior year in the classroom where he graduated with a 4.91 GPA and on the course where he earned All-Region honors and was select to the prestigious North-South Competition.
The scholarship is awarded annually to up to one student. To be eligible, they must be entering the University as full-time freshman in the PGA Golf Management program, have participated in Congaree Foundation programming, and be a South Carolina resident. The scholarship was established by Mike Pruitt, a friend of Congaree, who has a passion for CCU and the Congaree Foundation mission. The scholarship will cover all tuition and academic fees through all four years of a student’s college career. In addition to receiving the Congaree Foundation Scholarship, Pruitt has established an individual endowment to provide additional financial support of housing, meals, and other non-academic fees.
Following CGGI, Saylor worked closely with the Congaree Foundation team to assess his college options and determine the right fit to achieve his educational and professional goals. Congaree Foundation sat down with Saylor ahead his freshman year at CCU to discuss his decision to become a Chanticleer and what the CGGI experience meant to him.
Q: Why did you feel that Coastal Carolina University and the Professional Golf Management program was the right fit for you?
A: When I visited the campus last November, I loved how it felt like a true college setting. It was secluded on its own and not a campus placed in the middle of a city. Even though it is a relatively smaller campus by acreage, it still felt like it was its own place and town within the Conway area. Meeting with the PGM folks, I felt that I was going to be entering a family aspect within my college life and that they were going to be the support system for anything I needed while I was there. The feeling of being a part of a family within my degree program really made me feel at home. Everything about Coastal, with the PGM program, campus, and the student body atmosphere throughout the day and at athletic events, just really made me feel like I had found the place I was meant to be.
Q: What does it mean to you and your family to have your college expenses covered by this scholarship?
A: It's truly a blessing to have my college expenses covered by the scholarship. Throughout high school, I always expected that I would have to go through a process of applying for multiple scholarships to be able to cover a lot of my expenses, and then possibly have to come out of pocket for any remaining amount. To be able to have my expenses covered is a blessing from above.
Q: How did your experience at CGGI help prepare you for college?
A: My experience at CGGI helped prepare me for college through the scheduling and all the knowledge provided during the week. Mr. Ed Graf (CGGI Academic Advisor) provided us with a lot of helpful information about the admissions process and what we should expect in a college setting. The entire team helped prepare us through their continued support as we finished high school and now as I prepare to begin college. I know they will always be there to help us if we were to need anything while in college.
Q: What are your goals for your time at Coastal and after you complete the PGM program?
A: While I am at Coastal, I am looking forward to meeting new people from around the country and earning a degree from a highly accredited business program. I believe that Coastal gives me all the tools I need to succeed later in life. After completing the PGAM Program, I hope I am able to give back to the future of the game that has become such a big part of my life throughout my childhood and help grow the game for future generations to enjoy.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the Congaree Foundation team and Ambassadors who help make this scholarship possible?
A: I would like to thank all the people involved who made this possible. Being selected for CGGI was life-changing for me and to be graced with such an amazing opportunity is humbling. Thank you to the entire CGGI team for all of your continued support throughout this entire process. Also, I want to thank all of the Ambassadors at Congaree for your support of the Foundation’s mission and what it provides to kids like myself. I cannot wait to represent Congaree and the Congaree Foundation the next 4 years at school.