On the nights of November Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd, we hosted our 2nd Annual Surf Art and the Surfer Art Show. The event was lead and coordinated by our Surfers Leadership School students as a part of their class project. Between both nights, over 350 people attended to see live art and the work of artists such as Paul Forney, Mark Brown, Leanna Duncan-Wolf, and many more. It was quite an extravaganza bringing the art community to Wahiawa. On Friday night, live music was provided by the Ron Artis II band, while Streetlight Cadence performed Saturday evening. Various vendors and foodtrucks participated in the event as well. Awareness was not only brought towards Surfing the Nations, but also Wahiawa and surfers in Bangladesh.
One of the significant moments of Saturday night was the presentation of a check for $60,000 for the building of the Community Outreach Training Center, given by First Hawaiian Bank.
President of First Hawaiian Bank, Sharon Shiroma Brown, who has been an advocate of STN from the beginning stages, presented the check.
”When I first got the offer on my desk from Surfing The Nations, I said to my friend ‘Take me there!’ I wanted to meet Cindy Bauer. I wanted to see what was happening in Wahiawa. It just surprised me, in terms of what was happening here (before), and I’m so glad I came out. I met Cindy and I saw her vision and how passionate she was; how committed she was to make this all happen and we (First Hawaiian Bank) are so proud to help in this transformation.
Check out photos from the event on our flickr page!
May 27, 2014 marked a special day for Wahiawa! The former brothel behind the Texas Strip Club – an eyesore and the last remnant of the seedy sex industry in the neighborhood – was torn down for good! In the months following that demolition, we’ve started laying the foundations for what will soon be the Community Outreach and Training Center (COTC).
A building that was a place of torment, fear, and hopelessness, will become a new building of safety, hope, learning, and restoration. The COTC will house a cutting-edge music studio, dance studio, art workshop, classroom, and a food pantry. All of this will make it possible for Surfing The Nations to better pour into and equip the at-risk youth of Oahu and serve low-income families who often go without proper nutrition just to make ends meet. Within the walls of this building, the youth of Wahiawa and neighboring communities will receive the rare opportunity to experience free homework help, art lessons by skilled artists from around the island, dance classes that connect them to Polynesian culture and character development from consistent, loving staff members in a consistent environment!
We hope for your partnership to continue the radical transformation in Wahiawa! In this Season of giving we are aiming to end 2014 with a Giving Campaign that meets the goal to raise $32,000*. Help us show the children of Oahu that they are valued!
Cinder Blocks // need 2,214 @ $2 each
#Givingidea – Buy 100 blocks for $200!
Metal studs // need 3,200 @ $5 each
Exterior Siding // need 62 @ $20 each
#Givingidea – Side the whole COTC for $1240!
Paint // need 72 gal @ $25 each
#Givingidea – Paint the kids’ art room for $100!
Doors // need 35 @ $100 each
#Givingidea – Secure our ground floor for $1900!
Cement Mortar // need 22 yd @ $200 each
#Givingidea – Throw a ‘giving back’ fundraising party
Windows // need 12 @ $250 each
#Givingidea – Equip the top floor for $750!
Steel Frames// need 140 @ $500 each
Roof Trusses // need 47 @ $640 each
Sprinkler System // need one at $69,000
#Givingidea – Go above & beyond our giving goal!
*Surfing The Nations is a non- profit 501 (c) 3 tax deductible organization recognized by the US Government.
This holiday season, Walmart is running a Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign to help food pantries across the nation refresh their facilities. The competition is run via social media and the top 75 food pantries with the most votes will receive $20,000. Funds from this campaign would allow us to continue constructing the food pantry in our Community Outreach Training Center, and all it takes is five easy steps!
- Go to walmart.com/holidaymakeover
- Scroll down to where it says VOTE TODAY!
- Type Hawaii in the search bar
- Click VOTE under Surfing The Nations
- Share with all your friends and REMEMBER TO VOTE EVERY 24 HOURS!
(Voting ends 11:59 pm EST December 12th)
Today’s blog is from our amazing Ulu Pono Kids Director, Katie Connor. This woman has an amazing (and patient!) heart for the kids on our street – and in my opinion, one of the toughest jobs at STN! She is constantly striving to make the program the best it can be and provide the children with every opportunity possible. However, there is one thing she cannot do – stop the kids from growing up! In today’s guest blog, she explains her plans and hopes for the Ulu Pono Kids program as its members become too old to be called “kids.”
“Ulu Pono Teens” – to this day, the name of this 4 month old program cracks me up. But let me set the stage before I explain why it makes me chuckle so much. The Ulu Pono Kids Program was created four years ago when the staff at Surﬁng The Nations saw a great need to hold an after-school program for the elementary age kids in the local area. The program was an immediate hit and quickly became a home away from home for them.
However, as many of those kids are now in middle school and high school, their interests have changed and most of their younger siblings attend the program. This age gap has caused many of them to drop out as it is hard to engage a 5 year old and 13 year old in the same lesson and social setting. We came to the realization that we needed to go back to the drawing board and create a program that would give the teens a safe place to learn and hang out while appealing to their age group.
Hence, Ulu Pono Teens was created. But at ﬁrst the program was nameless. As a staff, we tried to come up with a name that might appeal to teenagers – Wahiawa Gangstas, Ohai Ballers etc… We decided that at our ﬁrst meeting we would present the names to the kids, let them make their own suggestions, and then cast a vote!
Their favorite was “Ulu Pono Teens,” a name they created and they have shamelessly owned ever since (despite the fact that many are still 11 and 12 years old!). It is a simple name, but it describes perfectly where they have come from, who they are now and even who they are becoming. Although, it still makes me laugh that they didn’t like any of the elaborate names we had created!
To be in Ulu Pono Teens you must be in sixth grade or older, but our oldest kids are only 14 at the moment. Because of their age we have been able to do things that some of the younger kids may not yet be able to do, such as snorkeling, hiking and trips to the museum. Our heart is to show these kids that there is “life” and a future for them beyond their street and neighborhood; that they have the opportunity to follow their passions if they work hard. We also teach them basic leadership principles through simple things like neighborhood clean-ups to help them understand the importance of being upright citizens and members of their community.
We are so proud of these kids and are excited to see them continue to grow and develop into young adults over the next few years. We know that these kids have the power to inﬂuence the future of this community and we are honored to be a part of the continued change happening in Wahiawa, Hawaii.
To keep up with Katie’s personal adventures as the Ulu Pono Kids Director, follow her blog at adventurewahiawa.wordpress.com!
Today’s blog post is from our favorite Sheila, Ame Schadel. Ame came this spring from Australia to take part in our Service Team program. Service Team is a program where individuals assist with practical hands-on needs of STN such as painting, construction or service in the local community with our ongoing outreaches. The schedule and jobs are based off of the needs at STN has at the current time. It is a challenge, but the reward of living and growing in the community is unique and gratifying. Service team members must commit a minimum of one month and can stay as long as three months. Take a look at what Ame had to say about her experience:
‘I love those times in life when a really amazing opportunity presents itself and you choose to step out of your comfort zone. There’s a feeling of nervousness and excitement as you start making your plans. But the best part is, after you’ve made that step and you realize that the decision turned out to be the best one you could have made. This is exactly what happened to me when I had the opportunity to be part of the service team at Surfing the Nations.
I flew from Australia to Hawaii not knowing what to expect, nervous about making this new place home for the next month. Nervousness aside, I also had a feeling that this would be the start of an amazing adventure. I was ready for a new challenge in life, ready to meet new friends and ready to have a ton of fun while doing it.
Being part of the Service Team gave me the chance to see firsthand how Surfing the Nations is making a difference in the community and around the world. Not only was I able to help people within the organization, I was also able to help with weekly community events like Feeding the Hungry and the Ulu Pono kids program. Through these programs, my eyes were opened to the need that is in the world today. The need for primary things like food and shelter and also the need for comfort and encouragement. Seeing people line up for food and being able to look them in the eyes, give them food and encourage them was truly a highlight for me.
Another part of Service Team that made my time so enjoyable was all the people that served alongside me. It was great to be working on a project or helping build something with people from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. We worked together, ate together and laughed together. The community of people at STN made me not only feel like I was part of the organization, but like I belonged to a family that was all working to make a difference.
Service Team was the best decision I could have made. It was an incredible way to see Hawaii, meet new people and ultimately make a lasting difference in a community, I loved it so much, I decided to extend my stay.
I would highly recommend taking this adventure and making it your own.’ – AS
Surfing the Nations was honored with to join Duke’s Restaurant Waikiki as they celebrated their 20th anniversary on January 18th. This day was not just a celebration of a thriving business, but an establishment that has truly upheld and lived out the spirit of Aloha. Duke’s has generously invested in and supported non-profits on the island for six years now through their Legacy of Aloha program. Surfing the Nations was chosen to be one of the recipients of a $2,000 donation along with other nonprofits: Nā Kama Kai, Mālama Maunalua, the Honolulu City and County South Shore Lifeguards, Holomua Nā ʻOhana, and Angel Network. In total, $12,000 was given to further the work of conserving the land and supporting the people of Hawaii. This is the third year Surfing the Nations has been invited and made Legacy of Aloha recipients.
We are so grateful to Duke’s for supporting us and dedicating themselves to giving back to the community!
photo credit: Honolulu Pulse
Thirty-two interns and six staff members are on the island of Kauai for the next 10 days! They will be bonding as a team through work projects in the community and activities like camping and hiking. The main focus is to serve the people of the island of Kauai and help meet the needs that are there.
The team will also be speaking at local high schools in the area and working with STN Kauai. (Did you know there was an STN Kauai base? More info to follow!)
We are stoked to send out our internship and watch them grow in leadership and selflessness as they live the lifestyle of ’Surfers Giving Back’.
Follow STN on facebook and twitter at @stn1040 for updates along the way!
Want a little taste of what Kauai is like?
Although we won’t be going on helicopter rides or lounging on a beach the whole time, the island of Kauai is definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen, so we want you to share in it too. Here is a honeymooner’s view:
Jeremy Seick, Zack Williams, and Renee Arnold from Surfing The Nations are here in Mexico City recruiting. We are being hosted by the amazing Maria “Nana” and Paola in one of the craziest cities we’ve ever been in. Here are some highlights from our first couple days. One of our first stops was Maria and her brother Rodrigo’s school Beraca, in Saint Jeronimo. We chatted it up with passionate young people, one of our favorite being Emilio who gave Zack a tech deck to “remember him” by.
Then it was off to Transformacion Urbana located in Chimalhuacan, 2 hours away from our home base but amazingly still within Mexico City (this place is massive). After being led through at least an hour of shanty homes and towns we reached the organization, and were given a tour of their programs. Transformation Urbana is an organization that equips and educates people in low-income communities. This education spans from local government to healthy eating and living through Zumba and soy supplement cooking classes. Oh and for lunch Zack and I got the pleasure of eating breaded pigs feet.
More of our adventures have included 2 AM taco runs with the whole family, mariachi sessions, dogs with dreadlocks, eating ram, cactus, pigs womb, horchata, and socially acceptable pork rinds. Probably the highlight spontaneous moment of the trip happened during a quick lunch stop at Arroyo. While looking for the mens room Jeremy stumbled upon a bull fighting arena. While watching for just a moment he saw what was a young boy no older than 10 fighting a massive bull. During a maneuver the bull’s horn lifted him up and threw him to the ground Hulk Hogan style, leaving the boy frozen on the ground bleeding. Jeremy ran back to find us and we returned to witness this young boy return to the ring after being bandaged, and having lost the use of one arm, to dominate this beast. He returned with dignity, passion, and confidence like none I’ve seen. He commanded the mariachi’s “Musica!” and defeated the massive bull to the applause of hundreds of onlookers.
…And they’re off!
Last night we sent out five of our staff to California, thus beginning our 2012 California/Mexico Recruitment Tour. I had a chance to peek at their schedule and it looks pretty packed with visits to Azusa Pacific University, Point Loma, Hurley International and the Dane Williams Memorial Surf Festival – and that’s just in California. Continue Reading