Student athletes tour The Players Championship; gifted with laptops

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Raines High School Junior Darionna May loves to golf. Naturally, getting to be at The Players Championship was surreal to her.

‘I’m really enjoying this experience,” May said.

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May and about 40 other high school student athletes from Duval and St. Johns counties toured the site as part of the PGA’s “Training U” sports and business education forum.

“The idea of motivation and pushing forward and they encouraged me to do better in golf,” May said.

The students met some big names -- on the panel was seven-time Olympic medalist Shannon Miller and ESPN golf analyst Michael Collins. Each of them shared insight with the students about future careers in sports.

“Work and school and sports and putting that all together and putting my mind towards doing better and getting some time, to where they are,” May explained.

But the biggest surprise was a visit from pro golfer Harold Varner III, who then announced to the students that the CDW, sponsor of this year’s forum, donated $25,000 to Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub -- providing each student with a laptop.

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“I’m really loving it here. Golf has a lot of opportunities,” May said.

With one year under her belt so far, she hopes for a future in golf.