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How John Hulede created a minority golf scholarship

Former Towson University golfer has awarded nine $2,000 scholarships

Having the opportunity to play golf at the PGA Golf Club in Florida was exciting enough for John Hulede. But what made that 2015 trip to Port Lucie even more memorable for the then-Towson University golfer?

Looking around the golf range and practice putting area and seeing dozens of Black golfers and people of color.

“For me, that was one of the coolest experiences,” said Hulede, at the time competing in the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship (now PGA Works) as a member of the Towson University golf team. “That was the only tournament I played in college where I was able to see other golfers who looked like me.”

Growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and playing at the Enterprise and later the Country Club at Woodmore, most of Hudele’s golf experiences were with Black people — Prince George’s County long held the title of the richest majority-Black county in America until it was replaced by Charles County, Maryland, around 2019. The isolation he felt as a Black collegiate golfer led the first-generation Ghanaian American to launch the Hulede Collegiate Golf Scholarship last year. Nine $2,000 scholarships have been awarded to people of color in two years in an effort to support student-athletes.

“Why did I launch the scholarship? I just essentially wanted to be the representation that I wish I had in college,” Hulede said. “When I was in school, I was trying to figure out who I was as a Black male playing a collegiate sport that was dominated by whites.”

John Hulede golfing for Towson University.

Colonial Athletic Association

“The ultimate goal? To become the biggest minority golf scholarship.” — John Hulede

You can’t award a scholarship unless you have money. Hulede has raise money for the scholarships using his own money, an annual commitment from several golfers from the Country Club at Woodmore, and a matching gift from Adobe, where he began working in 2022 as a mid-market field account manager.

“I had a bunch of big tech interviews in my latest job search, and I found out that Adobe does a company match up to $10,000 for charity,” said Hulede, who went into tech sales after graduating from Towson in 2017 and earned his master’s degree from the University of Maryland in 2020. “I started to Google how to start a scholarship, and that’s how it started.

“I’m a spiritual person,” said Hulede, who got his start in golf through the First Tee program when he was 8. “I felt like I was entering another chapter of my life, and that I had to do my part to give back.”

And that’s one of the traits Hulede seeks in awarding scholarships — student-athletes who are willing to give back. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and submit an essay that touches on their extracurricular activities outside of golf, and their plans to contribute to their community after graduation.

Hope Hall, who is in her second year of playing golf at Dartmouth, discovered the scholarship as she sought to supplement funds for her education. Hall is the only student-athlete who has received the scholarship both years.

Hall, 18, has been playing golf since she was 3 years old and, like Hulede, has experienced isolation as a collegiate golfer.

“It wasn’t rare to see Black people on the golf course back home” in Boca Raton, Florida, said Hall, who played in Stephen Curry’s Underrated Golf Tour in 2022. “My first tournament in college, I was like, ‘wow, there’s really no Black people here.’ ”

Hall was pleasantly surprised to see Hulede at her tournament in April, when Dartmouth played at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Knowing that John is there offering support that’s beyond financial was great,” Hall said. “He’s inspired me in a way that when I graduate from college, and hopefully I’m not in debt, I’d like to create some ways to pay it forward.”

There have been 170 applicants for the Hulede Scholarship in two years. He wants to increase the award to $3,000 per winner next year with the help of donors and the Adobe company match.

His view for the future of the scholarship?

“In five years, I’m aiming to provide $5,000 for each winner,” he said. “The ultimate goal? To become the biggest minority golf scholarship.”

Jerry Bembry is a senior writer at Andscape. His bucket list items include being serenaded by Lizz Wright and watching the Knicks play a MEANINGFUL NBA game in June.