There is always room in the world for a little more positivity, especially now for students and parents adapting to distanced learning and spending more time at home and away from their usual routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For twelve-year-old LPGA*USGA Girls Golf member Ayuka Yang, she is using this time to spread positivity, showing that small actions can sometimes be the ones to make the biggest impact.
Back in spring, when Ayuka’s classes transitioned suddenly from in-person to online, her class wanted to do something to help people get through the difficult adjustment life in lockdown could be. They participated in the Rainbow Art Project, a challenge to people around the world to create colorful art with inspiring messages to show people that though we are physically separated, we are all in this together. Ayuka led the charge for her class and even encouraged her younger siblings to partake as well.
The project made an impact on her and her understanding of the importance of community outreach, but giving back and being a positive force for good is something Ayuka carries with her beyond the at-home classroom.
Since her school went remote back in March, Ayuka had a lot more time on her hands once her classes and homework were done. While it may seem like online school would make keeping up with extracurricular activities impossible, that didn’t stop her from finding a way to stay involved. She volunteered as her school’s Literacy Leader, which helped kindergarteners improve their reading skills, and she stayed involved in her Girls Golf program—both entirely online.
“Ayuka and her sister Kaelyn are highly enjoying every Girls Golf event,” said Ayuka’s parents. “They love to interact with and help younger girls who are just starting golf through the program. When she becomes a little older, Ayuka would love to volunteer for these events to teach and support the participants.”
Her passion for golf goes deep, and her parents believe it may be that she was always somehow destined for the game.
Ayuka’s dad, a passionate golfer himself, always wished he’d learn the game earlier, so he wanted to give his kids the chance he didn’t have.
“There is an Asian tradition that when a child becomes one year old. We celebrate by having a ‘grab your future’ ceremony,” explained her parents. “Various symbolic objects are placed in front of the child, and the object the child happens to grab is believed to tell their future career choice. If she grabs a calculator, she may succeed in business, if she grabs a calligraphy brush, she may become a writer or researcher, and so on.
“When Ayuka turned one, we had this ceremony, and Ayuka’s dad, of course, wanted to include a toy golf club in our collection of objects. We made a circle of objects and put Ayuka in the middle. Can you guess what happened next? Without hesitation, Ayuka grabbed the golf club!”
From playing with a toy golf set to competing in an impressive number of junior tournaments and golf organizations, her success in golf is clear. But it is her kindness, consideration, and eclectic pursuits that have the potential to keep her on the path to achieve whatever she sets her mind to.
Ayuka one day dreams of being a professional golfer, writer, artist, or all three! Most importantly, she wants to be someone who makes a difference and who makes a positive impact on the world.
While a small series of positive artwork is just one action out of many during this time, it is important to remember that the smallest things can be the catalysts for the brightest futures.