Eliminate the barriers that prevent a diversity of girls from a relationship with the ocean and with one another.
The Wahine Project aims to eliminate the barriers that prevent a diversity of girls from developing a relationship with the ocean, and with one another. Girls ages 9-14 attend the county-wide Youth Ocean Leadership Program, with a focus on ocean safety and recreation or beach recreation. At these camps, participants receive leadership, conservation and sport training from women-led coach and instructor teams. The leadership and sport training will continue one day per week during the school year in the same format of beach days. Together, the girls work on a conservation project that they bring back to each one of their communities and present to local politicians, service groups and schools in an effort to educate and implement their project.
Two years ago I was part of your program at Alisal High School. Last week, I graduated. Being a part of the Wahine Project gave me opportunities that I never believed possible. Who would have thought that a young, brown girl from East Salinas would be given the chance to surf? Definitely not me. As a child, I always thought that surfing was a sport only white people in movies would participate in—it wasn’t something I ever saw people of color doing, it wasn’t a reality for me. Now, my thoughts have changed completely. My devotion to community work and mentorship has grown exponentially. I feel it my duty to help girls like me have better opportunities in order to reach their full potential. I one day hope to return to my community and follow in your footsteps, I would be honored to work alongside organizations that helped me when I was growing up. You have changed my life!
- Daisy Garcia