Mak­ing a Dif­fer­ence

mon­terey penin­sula foun­da­tion and arnie’s army char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion im­prove lives across amer­ica

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents 01/18 - BY JOHN STREGE

Mon­terey Penin­sula Foun­da­tion and Arnie's Army Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion im­prove lives.

ma­g­aly za­gal is only 22, yet al­ready is as­sem­bling an im­pres­sive ré­sumé that in­cludes a de­gree from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, an in­tern­ship in Sacra­mento for her state as­sem­bly­man and an­other in his home district, and soon a law de­gree from UC Davis.

Yet what dis­tin­guishes at least to the same de­gree as her education is her grat­i­tude, for the help she re­ceived along the way from Girls Inc. of the Cen­tral Coast, a ben­e­fi­ciary of Mon­terey Penin­sula Foun­da­tion.

“I’m a first-gen­er­a­tion col­lege and grad­u­ate stu­dent,” says Za­gal, a na­tive of Sali­nas, Calif. “My par­ents weren’t knowl­edge­able about higher education. I couldn’t go to them. They didn’t un­der­stand. Girls Inc. opened up op­por­tu­ni­ties for me. I owe my en­tire ca­reer to Girls Inc.”

Za­gal em­bod­ies the dif­fer­ences Mon­terey Penin­sula Foun­da­tion and Arnie’s Army Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion are mak­ing in peo­ple’s lives through fi­nan­cial sup­port.

Girls Inc., for in­stance, “pro­vides lead­er­ship and men­tor­ing pro­grams for young women, 9-18, all over the Cen­tral Coast,” says its ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Pa­tri­cia Fer­nan­dez-Tor­res.

Za­gal was in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing col­lege but had no idea how to nav­i­gate the cum­ber­some process. Girls Inc. helped with ev­ery as­pect, in­clud­ing vis­its to col­lege cam­puses and tak­ing her and oth­ers to the state cap­i­tal in Sacra­mento.

“I was able to meet our as­sem­bly­man, Luis Alejo,” she says. “Lis­ten­ing to peo­ple in power and meet­ing as­sem­bly mem­bers and women in these lead­er­ship po­si­tions, I gained an in­ter­est in pol­icy and law.”

Za­gal ap­plied to Berke­ley, but her ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected. “One of my men­tors was a Berke­ley alum, and she en­cour­aged me to ap­peal the de­ci­sion,” Za­gal says. “She ac­tu­ally wrote one of my let­ters of sup­port. I ap­pealed, and a month later, Berke­ley re­versed its de­ci­sion.” More­over, she re­ceived a Gates Mil­len­nium Schol­ar­ship that paid for her en­tire un­der­grad­u­ate education.

“I didn’t even know what an as­sem­bly mem­ber was at 14,” Za­gal said. “And now I’m at UC Davis School of Law, my third year of law school. I’m tak­ing the [Cal­i­for­nia] bar exam on July 22. I’m grate­ful to have been part of an or­ga­ni­za­tion that opened up doors for me.”

Girls Inc. is only one of the groups MPF sup­ports, with its fo­cus on arts and cul­ture, com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­ment, education, health and hu­man ser­vices, and youth.

The mis­sion of Arnie’s Army Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion is sim­i­lar, but specif­i­cally is fo­cused on com­bat­ing can­cer in chil­dren. “[Arnold Palmer] was com­mit­ted to so many phil­an­thropic ini­tia­tives through­out his life,” Palmer’s daugh­ter Amy Saun­ders says, “but sup­port­ing chil­dren in their fight against can­cer and other de­bil­i­tat­ing dis­eases was al­ways a pri­or­ity. I know we are mak­ing him proud ev­ery day, es­pe­cially in ex­pand­ing the Arnie’s March cam­paign.”

ma­g­aly za­gal: “i owe my en­tire ca­reer to girls inc.”

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