LINCOLN SQUARE — Right now, there's a student at Amundsen High School who could become the next Phil Mickelson if only he — or she — had a set of golf clubs.
The school is in the process of forming a golf team and has turned to DonorsChoose to help outfit the budding duffers with necessary equipment: clubs, bags, a hitting net and more.
"Our students need an activity and golf teaches great life lessons," Ben Craig, a special education instructor at Amundsen and would-be coach of the future golf team, said in his post to the fundraising website.
"It is my belief that if we can jump start this program by accessing equipment, which will stay with the team even after students graduate, we will change countless lives."
Like many schools, Amundsen was hit hard by budget cuts at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, losing $780,000 in funding. Though Principal Anna Pavichevich and Amundsen's Local School Council worked hard to preserve extracurriculars for students, bankrolling a new sport is a challenge for the cash-strapped school.
Participation in athletics has soared in the past year at Amundsen as part of a movement to boost attendance and student engagement.
"Last year, 13 percent of seniors were involved in sports. This year, 31 percent are," athletic director Erik Olsen said. "School is a social learning experience as well as academic."
In addition to contributions via DonorsChoose, Amundsen is fielding equipment offers on the school's Facebook page.