The PGA TOUR announced today their 2017-2018 season charitable contribution number, a record of $190 million. To celebrate this milestone, the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, hosted by the Utah Sports Commission, is proud to share the story of Christian Pratt. Christian is a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Weber-Davis and is just one of many who benefited from the 2018 tournament general admission ticket proceeds.
This is Christian’s Story:
“Students that achieve greatness don’t always start out with greatness in mind.”
I remember the day that my life changed forever. It had started just like all of the other days in my childhood, with my mom taking my newborn baby brother and me for a walk in our neighborhood. When suddenly, from nowhere, she screamed in a panic, “HELP” at the top of her lungs “I can’t walk, I can’t move,” she said. When I looked back, I saw that she had fallen and couldn’t get herself back to her feet. I remember feeling scared and helpless, not knowing why my mom couldn’t do something as simple as walk. A short time later, we found out my mother had developed Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I remember the fear–all I wanted to do was help my mom, my hero, my number one fan, the person who had taken care of our entire family until this point, but I had no idea how.
Then, just before entering first grade, my mother moved us from Hawthorne, California to Ogden, Utah to live with my aunt in her trailer. She wanted to escape the nightly drug busts and gunshots and be closer to her family. As a Black child, the transition wasn’t even close to easy. Utah is a majority Caucasian state. In fact, every school that I have attended has less than 1% racial identity of Black for its student body. I felt different from the other kids, like an outcast and definitely a minority. But it wasn’t until the 4th grade when I was bullied on a daily basis did I truly understand that I felt lost, stolen, and strayed from who I felt I was inside, who I believed I could and should be. It was a horrible feeling. It was later that year when a classmate named Elijah reached out to me. He told me about a place where I would fit in, a place with fun and adventure. A positive place with caring mentors that even help you with your homework–The Boys & Girls Club. And boy, was I lucky because The Club had picked up students from their schools every day and brought them to its facility and even took them home afterward if their parents couldn’t. That night, I got the application filled out and went the very next day.
When I was a senior in high school and after being a member of The Club for several years, I finally understood what the Club had done for me. The Boys & Girls Club pulled me up from the bad place where I was and help to mold me into a successful individual that I was becoming. In 9th grade, I became part of Upward Bound, a Weber State University program that partnered with The Club to help under-represented kids understand what college-bound meant and taught us how to prepare to go to college. For the first time, I knew for sure that I would go to college–that I could achieve my dreams–College!
Since then I have aimed to become the best student I could be. At Ben Lomond High School, I became Involved in the YMCA, FBLA, Chick Fil – A Leader Academy, Coder Dojo, and became President of Robotics and Changemakers. Senior year, I achieved Boys & Girls Club’s greatest recognition as our Youth of the Year and earned a scholarship for my college room and board. I earned Sterling Scholar for Computer Technology at my school and was named Student of The Year for Ogden City School District. I graduated with a 4.75 GPA, ranked third in my class, and yes, I even had perfect attendance since seventh grade.
I have had to work hard for every single one of those achievements, and to this day I continue to do so. I currently attend Weber State and will graduate this spring with my associates while being in my first official year of college. I am also Involved in Emerging Leaders and Black Scholars Union and happily work at the Center for Community Engaged Learning helping students connect to their community.
Why do I do this you may ask? The answer is simple– I have a goal just like anyone else. I want to help those kids in Ogden who are struggling as I did. I want to help my family so that they don’t have to struggle each day to make ends meet. I owe it to them so that I can take care of them as they get older like my mom, who sacrificed for me when I was young. I want to help her pay for her MS medicine. I want to help them pay the bills as best as I can. And, I also hope to buy my parents a home of their own one day.
So am I lost stolen or strayed? No way, thanks to great people and organizations like the PGA Tour, my life is just beginning.