What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?
This summer working for the Wahine Project, I worked to bring more environmental education to their summer programming. Throughout the summer I was able to design mini lesson plans (at the beach!) and present them to the campers. These lessons included the importance of kelp forests, how climate change is impacting the ocean, the issue of plastic pollution, and the importance of indigenous land acknowledgments. We also did lessons about female empowerment, mental/physical health, impacts of social media, menstruation, LGBTQ+ representation in surfing and more! It was incredible to talk to campers about such important topics. The overall impact of my work was educating girls ages 6-17 about marine related issues and topics, and hopefully empowering them to become ocean stewards. Also empowering them to be confident, self-loving and kind people. To love their bodies no matter what society tells them! I also wanted to show the campers that it is possible to use your career to help our ocean. As a young girl, I wish I had a role model who did this type of work! I always began lessons talking about what I am studying in graduate school and how I got here, to serve as a role model for them. I hope my time at the Wahine Project will also lead to more environmental education within its camps after I leave!
The summer is flying by! The past few months have been such a blast working for the Wahine Project, as a surf instructor and marine educator. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work here, among amazing staff members and campers that inspire me every day. As the weeks go by, I am seeing myself continue to grow as a surf instructor, educator, and as an individual. Not many people can say their office is the beach!!
Hi all! I am now about 5 weeks into my CBE Fellowship with the Wahine Project, and so far it has been an incredible experience. Here at the Wahine Project, we are working to break down the barriers that prevent a diversity of youth from building a personal relationship with the ocean and from participating in ocean sports. ‘Wahine’ means girl or young woman in Hawaiian. The organization started in 2010 by founder Dionne Ybarra, who was motivated to bring more girls and marginalized communities into surfing, which is a very white-male-dominated sport. The camp started with all girls, but has since expanded to include all genders. At the Wahine Project, we believe the ocean should be accessible to everyone. The organization is living out their vision year after year, and I have been so lucky to be a part of it and see it firsthand. There are many barriers which prevent access to the beach and surfing, and we partner with many local organizations to provide transportation and lessons for kids all around Monterey Bay.