Palo Alto High senior golfer Michelle Xie was one of 14 finalists this month for the USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award, which was created to recognize one male and one female junior golfer who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program -- a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
Xie has contributed more than 300 hours of service from a variety of organizations within her community. For the past four years, Xie has volunteered as a junior coach for The First Tee of Silicon Valley. In addition, she assists with fund-raising efforts for the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and sits on the Palo Alto Youth Council, a board that advocates youth voice and works alongside the City Council.
Xie is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, an honor society at her school, and serves as a peer tutor in trigonometry, calculus and chemistry. In 2013, Xie raised more than $620 through the AJGA Leadership Links program and aims to raise $1,000 this year.
During the school year, Xie won the NorCal individual title and helped Paly to a fourth-place finish at the state finals.
While Xie had all the qualifications, the girls' honor went to Dree Fausnaugh of Maitland, Fla. For two years, Fausnaugh has organized a fundraising golf tournament to raise money for the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation. Spearheading the tournament by herself, she has collected more than $18,000 and plans to continue her involvement with the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation in the future.
The male and female winner will be honored on Wednesday during the Rolex Tournament of Champions in Nashville, Tenn. While Xie is not in the field at the Richland Country Club, Anna Zhou from Gunn High is among the 60-player field in the girls' half of the event.
In other junior golf news, Naomi Lee of Menlo Park tees off Tuesday in the Championship Flight of the California Junior Girls' State Championships at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. She earned one of 32 berths by shooting 81.
Playing in the lower Helen Lengfeld Flight will be Stephanie Yu of Palo Alto and Emily Hwang of Palo Alto. Yu shot 87 in qualifying while Hwang shot 88. The tournament continues through Thursday.