I grew up in a small suburban town in the Bay Area about an hour and a half from the beach. All my life, I’ve always been drawn to every sport that involves a board. Starting at a very young age, most of my time was dedicated to skate boarding. As a kid, I often dreamt about growing up in a beach town and the endless possibilities of surfing. Surfing was the one sport I was never able to experience growing up for the simple fact that the beach wasn’t close enough to home. A few months
before moving to San Diego, I was determined to make my surfing dream a reality. I seized every opportunity to spend time in Santa Cruz with my friends who shared a similar determination of learning to surf.
I quickly realized that surfing meant more to me than just a sport. It can only be described as a soul filling experience. I felt a connection to the earth that I had never experienced before and became hooked on the feeling of sitting in the lineup and being part of the ocean. I realized how small and insignificant we are as humans in comparison. The connection I feel out there on my board is truly indescribable.
While surfing Scripps one day, I was disturbed and startled by the raw sewage leading into the ocean. My mind was blown thinking about the hazardous toxins I was exposed to in the water. After doing some research to learn more, I found an interest and passion for sustainability. I started to question how things were made, where it was coming from and how different products or food affect humans.
During my first semester at San Diego State, I took one of Dr. Ponting’s classes and he introduced me to the Center for Surf Research. I knew instantly that it was something that I was meant to be part of. I would love to travel to different countries to learn firsthand how surfing affects various communities. I also hope to work with surf companies to learn how they have integrated sustainability in developing their products. I am very fortunate for this learning opportunity and extremely excited to put my passion for sustainability and surf tourism to work. Ultimately, I am dedicated to making a personal contribution to sustainability efforts and making a positive impact on the environment and surf communities.