At first I didn’t want to do the Spirit Sessions because I didn’t think I could surf,
but the judge made me go.
Then I tried it and I found out I could surf. It was fun and now I like it…
Now I know I like challenges. And to all those people who think I can’t do anything, say I’m no good, and that I’m stupid, all I can say is: I can do anything!… I’m a Champion!”
Approach & Methods
Unique, interactive, daring and engaging
We literally pull the ground out from under our youth, grab their interest, help them recognize their own inherent value, and transform their raw energy into character strengths.
We leverage the teen appeal of the “cool surfer” image to inspire youth
They develop new skills, explore new modes of thinking, and embrace a new approach to life. The joy of surfing and accomplishment of catching waves is an instant boost to self-esteem, and surfing together provides a positive bonding experience and enhances trust. Our method of combining one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, peer mentoring, eco-therapy, experiential environmental education, and athletics stimulates youth participation and leads to strong relationships.
The more connections, the tighter the safety net. We’re building a big Ohana (family)
Based on the Hawaiian concept that we are all connected, Surfrider Spirit Sessions brings together state and local agencies, businesses, and individual community members to support our youth. Through Spirit Sessions, all facets of our community share their resources. Our programs work because we all work together.
Youth We Serve
We deal with some of the “toughest” kids
These youth have suffered traumas and their problems, wounds, and challenges run deep. For them, more accessible youth programs are insufficient. Our core focus is serving youth aged 13-18 years who are directed to our programs by Hawai‘i Family Court judges from Hawai‘i Girls Court, Hawai‘i Juvenile Drug Court, and youth referred by youth serving programs. If these youth do not make serious changes, they stand in danger of ending up with criminal records and entering the adult prison system. To make drastic changes they need intensive attention and extensive resources.
They lack basic resources and need support on multiple levels
Typically approximately 50% of our youth are from single-parent families, 55% are Native Hawaiian and 42% live in public assistance (low income) households dependent on food stamps or living in public housing. Many come from economically depressed or rural communities.
I can’t find words to describe surfing. It’s something I will never want to stop. The way it feels to catch a wave, and just being in the water. It helps me leave all my problems and everything making me sad. It helps me let go.” ~ Crystal