Introducing Bryson Berry: Youth on Course Scholarship Recipient
Each year, Youth on Course awards a select number of golfers across the country with college scholarships in recognition of a member’s hard work on and off the golf course. As part of the 2021 scholarship recipients, Lexington’s Bryson Berry was one of twenty high school students to receive a scholarship.
Bryson has used the game of golf to build skills that are set to aid him in all avenues of his life, and his dedication to his passions away from the course make him well deserving of this prestigious honor.
Born in Ashland and raised by a single mother, Bryson and his mom Cara did quite a bit of moving in the first several years of his life. They moved from Ashland to North Carolina, then trekked to Connecticut before coming back to Kentucky and settling in Lexington when Bryson was in first grade. They’ve stayed in Lexington ever since, but those early years of moving were vital in helping shape the man Bryson has turned into.
“I saw a lot of different things very early in my life,” Bryson recalled. “I got different perspectives of where people come from, became more outgoing and realized I wanted to be a trailblazer in my family since we come from humble means. I’ve seen a lot of my family lack a true education and I’ve always just wanted to start that generational shift and find better for those around me.”
That group extends beyond his family, and it did not take him long to realize his ultimate passion was to help people. As he saw family and friends go through highs and lows throughout his adolescence, Bryson took an interest in public policy and got involved with it during his freshman year of high school. From there, he has fallen in love with government and politics and identified his desired path to be in law, because in his words, “that’s where change comes.”
Of course, to have a successful career in that industry, having top-notch people skills is at the forefront, and that’s where golf has made a difference for Bryson. Thanks to programs like Youth on Course giving him the opportunity to find a love for golf, far more important matters than how he swings a golf club have been developed.
“I don’t really come from a golfing family; I’m not a typical golfer in that sense. I got interested in the game because a few of my friends who come from wealthy backgrounds would take me to the country clubs their families belong to, and it motivated me to be that person one day who can be a member at high-end clubs like those. Along the way, I’ve met great people and found connections that have made golf more accessible to me.”
“That’s led me to change how I go about life, really. I approach life fast-paced and always on the go, but on the golf course I’ve found a comfort I don’t have anywhere else. I’ve taught myself to keep my mind at peace, in the moment, and aware of my surroundings. Golf has taught me so much about how to be patient and disciplined so I’ve come to apply those lessons elsewhere. Like speeches – I take my time way more now when I’m speaking in public compared to before I played golf consistently.”
As far as the program itself that’s providing this scholarship to Bryson, his advocation for Youth on Course cannot be overstated. He continually recommends his friends and new people he meets to check out the program and get involved. Because of the work Youth on Course accomplishes, Bryson and the Kentucky Golf Foundation share the belief that Youth on Course can change the game’s landscape for the better.
“People in marginalized communities have been afraid of golf for a long time, and Youth on Course reaches these families. A lot of work needs to be done in order to keep this improvement up though. More voices from people with humble backgrounds need to be heard and people who have always been around the game need to advocate for these opportunities. If that keeps up, I believe more courses and more organizations will continue to put more money into Youth on Course and make golf less intimidating for people to take up.”
Bryson will hopefully be a voice leading the charge behind this mindset for years to come, but in the meantime, he has just graduated from Frederick Douglas High School and has big things in store. He will be attending Dartmouth College studying government and economics starting this fall and has his eyes set on Harvard Law School upon finishing his undergrad at Dartmouth. After college, he aspires to be a civil rights attorney and get more involved with public policy.
Youth on Course and golf have certainly made a positive impression on Bryson in his young life, and he’s quickly repaid that by touching the lives of those in his community. Now, thanks in part to another wonderful opportunity from Youth on Course, this scholarship will help Bryson expand his impact for a life full of more positive impacts.