Born and raised in Kenya, St. Thomas University Bachelor of Arts in Sports Administration student Serah A. Khanyereri has been playing golf since she was 13 years old. Today, the 23-year-old member of STU’s first female golf team is ranked 17th in the NAIA, and recently won the Webber Invitational and the Coastal Georgia Invitational.
In her own words:
Perseverance made way for the opportunity to pick up her first golf club…
I was born and raised in one of the poorest communities in Kenya. When I was in elementary school, Kenya’s only professional female golfer, Coach Rose Naliaka, was touring different schools to select underprivileged girls to teach them the sport of golf. She chose a group of girls from my school and left me behind because, at less than 5’ tall, she felt I was too short to play golf. But that didn’t stop me, because the more I learned about golf, the more determined I became to be included in her teachings. I kept pressing on, letting her know my interest. After two weeks, I found out where she was teaching and went and tried golf. Believing I may have some talent, she finally allowed me to participate in her golf program.
Persistence made way for the opportunity to attend her first university…
I left my beloved family and came to the United States in 2019 to further my studies, and play golf. I enrolled in a community college in New Jersey with the hope of joining the men’s golf team, since the college did not have a women’s team. While attending that college, I continued searching online for 4-year colleges which also had a women’s golf program. Luckily, I came across St. Thomas University and learned the campus would be starting a golf program for females in 2020. After reviewing my application, STU’s coach Steve Evans showed interest in me and invited me to play on the university’s first female golf team. I am on track to graduate in the fall of 2024 with a BA degree in Sports Administration, with a minor in Criminal Law. I am hoping to be eligible to receive a scholarship that will enable me to stay at STU to continue working towards a master’s degree.
Passion to succeed made way for the opportunity to begin achieving collegiate and personal goals…
In my first year at STU, I have made many good memories, and had great experiences. One of my favorite memories is the first time I traveled on the STU minibus with my teammates to our golf competition at Innisbrook, Fl. I was excited, happy, and anxious about being a member of STU’s first female golf team, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after a few team trips, I settled down and managed to accomplish two wins: the Webber Invitational, and the Coastal Georgia Invitational. Representing STU at tournaments are my most memorable experiences so far.
I really enjoy playing the game and practicing to be a better player. The competition and challenges make golf exciting. I like travelling to different golf courses, since no two courses are the same. Golf has provided me with a great opportunity to meet and interact with people from different cultures and various parts of the world.
Most importantly, I have learned my college experience at STU will offer more than I expected because of the friendly environment, the instructors, the students, and the staff. I have learned that STU is my home away from home, and a great community environment where I can chase my academic and golf dreams. I aspire to make it to the LPGA someday and, hopefully, when I do, I’ll be able to do the same thing Coach Steve Evans is doing for me at 23 years old: teaching patience, endurance and all the critical skills I need to continue to build on to be the best female professional golf player. And also what Coach Rose Naliaka did for me at 13 years old: Put a light in someone’s life, as she did in mine.