First Tee – Coachella Valley alumna and coach, Karla Garcia, on her journey with First Tee

Karla Garcia was born on March 11, 2002, in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. 

She moved to Novillero, Nayarit at the age of 4, where she spent almost eight years with her maternal grandparents. She worked in her grandparents’ vegetable field during those years, planting, picking and selling vegetables. Karla and her older sister immigrated to the Coachella Valley in 2013 where their mother and stepfather lived. 

Karla’s stepfather enrolled her in the First Tee in the summer of 2013 when she was 11. It was there that she learned how to play golf for the first time. Karla didn’t speak English and couldn’t understand a word the coaches said to her but she enjoyed striking a small ball with a club. 

Karla started working as a lead instructor with the First Tee in 2021, and she enjoys passing on her knowledge to other young children. Karla has recently accepted the position as outreach coordinator, and she is extremely excited to be able to work and grow with First Tee. 

Karla is also a student at the College of the Desert where she is pursuing a degree in golf management. Karla intends to continue working with First Tee in order to make a positive impact on the lives of children.