2011 Year of The Boom
Ahh the irony of success…there’s a saying “the more you do, the more you do” and we’re seeing it in action right now. The word is out: Surfrider Spirit Sessions works. Kids say we’re cool, courts need our help, counselors say we’re the best motivator they have for youth. The result? More referrals than ever before! And more need for support to make things happen.
Tomorrow marks the first session of our Spring Session core program and we are maxed out. Uncle Sam just couldn’t bear to turn kids away so we accepted a few more than our usual limit but when the referrals kept coming we had to wait list the rest. For the first time in our history, we have kids on a waiting list and more youth are being referred to us everyday.
Our Growing Surf Ohana: More Mentors Step Up
Yikes! What do you do when the kids roll in? You recruit mentors like crazy! Thank goodness for the coconut wireless and great partners. This year 3 girls joined us from Surfing the Nations and Surfrider Foundations call out sent us a few more. Mentors recruited mentors and the call is already out for our Summer Sessions. (And yes, if you are interested SIGN UP! See what it takes to become an SSS Mentor.)
Catching Waves And Changing Lives, Yep, We Really Are!
We’re not only getting kids off the street and out of the court system – we’re developing a new generation of leaders, instead of sitting by and watching them grow into a life of crime. Seriously. Check out these results from 2010 youth self-reported surveys :
- 100% caught a wave during the first session despite the fact that fewer than 15% of them believed they could surf.
- 85% felt they had more positive role models and peers and adults they could trust
- 43% felt they had gained positive leadership and citizenship skills
- 62% reported positive shift in healthy living
- 62% felt better about themselves and said they learned more life skills
- 20% returned as Junior Mentor Interns
- 100% of they said they would recommend the program to others. (Wow, how cool is that?)
Courts report that recidivism is down among our youth, they have fewer violent outbursts or bouts of depression, they attend school more often, have improved communications and better relationships.
Working Hard To Keep Working Hard
We worked like crazy and it paid off! Last year we received more than 20 grants and raised more than $20,000 from independent donors. It’s even more fantastic news when you consider it was our first year as an independent 501c3 and take into account the challenging economic times. This year we have even more to do. More kids, more needs, more resources…
Jump On Our Wave!
Give A Dollar, A Dime, Or Your Time… It all Counts!
If you love what we do, join us! This year we have been blessed with a $100,000 matching grant from the Omidyar Ohana Fund (mahalo!!!!) which means every dollar we raise turns into two! And we’re working hard to get every penny of it. Last year our kids raised over $1,000 at a car wash, and are planning to do it again. We’re looking for corporate sponsors and partners, and yes, we’re writing a zillion more grant applications! If you believe like we do, that our kids are precious resources worthy of our investment, make a donation, or sign up as a mentor or volunteer today! And tell everyone you know about us and our work. You don’t need to be a surfer to catch our wave and change a life… all you need to do, is care and take action… welcome to our Ohana! Until next time….STAY STOKED!