Through the PGA WORKS Fellowship program, Tajma Brown, 24, of Wilmington, Delaware, is blazing new trails for workforce diversification in the game of golf.
Brown, who works with the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, is one of three people along with Jessica Asbury (Carolinas PGA Section) and Christina Paulsen (New Jersey PGA Section) to currently serve in the Fellowship program. PGA WORKS provides a yearlong employment opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to garner experience in various facets of the golf industry. The PGA plans to grow the program to a total of eight Sections in 2018 (Middle Atlantic, Carolinas, Michigan, New Jersey, Gateway, Northern Ohio, Southern Ohio and South Florida) and eventually to all 41 PGA Sections nationwide.
Now in the 10th month of her fellowship, Brown spends the majority of her time working on PGA REACH programming and the Section’s foundational activities.assists with PGA Jr. League, junior golf tournaments and helps with the foundational elements of the Junior Golf Alumni Association. She has also taken an active role in the communications and promotional initiatives of the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, such as assisting with the restructuring of the junior golf platform on the Section’s website; writing articles for the monthly newsletter; and creating content for social media. Brown is currently focused on the organizational structure for several 2018 junior golf events, as well as a college golf seminar scheduled for the spring that will potentially help students learn how to earn golf scholarships. This work has introduced Brown to how special the game of golf truly is and its ability to change the lives of the people that play it.
In addition her variety of responsibilities, Brown made her first trip the annual PGA Merchandise Show earlier this year. There she joined PGA Secretary Jim Richerson on the Golf Channel to discuss the PGA WORKS program and the golf association’s stance on diversity in the industry.
In fact, PGA REACH, the 501(c)3 charitable foundation of the PGA of America, funds and supports the Fellowship. The PGA hopes this program will become the most valuable entry-level employment opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to garner experience in various facets of the golf industry.
“We must be drivers for change, not just in golf, but society as well,” said PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua. “Many people turn to sports as inspiration for acceptance, and it is therefore essential that diversity and inclusion are part of our core, as we work to fulfill our mission of serving our Members and growing the game.”
A Hampton University graduate with a Masters in Sports Management from West Virginia University, Brown is garnering lifelong experiences and professional exposure to the golf industry, along with corporate America, through a game she had never previously played.
“As a kid, I grew up around basketball, football, a little bit of baseball, but never golf,” Brown said. “You just want to do what you love, and I love working in sports. In five years, I see myself working with a task force at the PGA to help bring more women and other minority groups into the game. I feel like I was made for this position.”
About PGA WORKS: The PGA WORKS Fellowship is a 12-month paid opportunity funded by PGA REACH. PGA WORKS Fellows work in PGA Section offices with a focus on foundation programming— where their role is consistent with the mission and purpose of PGA REACH and the host PGA Section’s foundation. PGA WORKS Fellowship candidates apply through their host PGA Section and must be graduates of any undergraduate or graduate degree program within the past 12 months. Eligible Fellows are passionate about diversity and inclusion in the game and business of golf; willing to consider a career in the golf industry; and believe in the mission of PGA REACH.
Editors note: The story originally appeared on africanamericangolfersdigest.com, but has been edited and reformatted to fit Golf2020.com and World Golf Foundation styling.