Volunteers with 'Els for Autism' pitch in to help at The Honda Classic

Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 20:04:40-05

When there's a break in the action, you can expect to find Michael Fortes and his friends working behind the scenes.

They’re lifting bottles, restocking ice, and keeping everyone cool in the heat of competition.

“It’s an amazing thing to be here and to volunteer and to participate and be a part of something amazing,” Fortes says.

His group is here with Els for Autism. 

“We were lucky enough to work with the Honda Classic this year and implement a volunteer program specifically designed for them,” says Kerri Morse, adult services coordinator at ‘Els For Autism’ 

Michael and his fellow volunteers completed a 6-month internship at PGA National before making it to the Classic to participate in the first time program. 

That experience got them ready for their work this week. 

What could be seen as a routine, labor intensive task to some, turned into an important life lesson for the group. 

“They taught me independence," Fortes says. "Just take initiative and…if you see something do it,” he says.

Through his actions, Michael is hoping to be an example of what is possible. 

“Teach other people how to be leaders,” he says. “Instead of just being a follower, you want to build leaders, and that's what I want to do here. I'm trying to build other leaders just like myself.” 

A program building leaders, and embracing a future full of potential.