Growing up as a foster kid, I’ve been abused and neglected. I have also seen many people abused and neglected and no child or even a person should have to experience that. Urban Surf For Kids is an escape from the outside world and is a way to relieve foster kids of the stress that they get from growing up in the foster care system.
Growing up in the foster care system I never got to participate in sports but now that I am learning to surf I finally have a sport that I feel passionate about and am getting really good at. The Dreaming of Aloha trip was the first time I had ever been on a plane, my first real vacation, my first time touring a University, my first time meeting and talking to professional surfers including Kelly Slater and Aaron Gold, and my first time eating in a nice restaurant.
When I came home, for the first time I had something to talk about when my friends would talk about vacations or trips with their families. It was the first time I felt included. I would like people to know that foster kids are normal people wanting to live as normal of a life as possible. We sometimes can be labeled and treated poorly and it really hurts because we’re in the system for reasons out of our control.
We are not troublesome children; we did not choose this life, it was handed to us. We’re trying to overcome the obstacles we’ve been faced with that most adults couldn’t but we can only do it with the support of the community. That ’s where US4K’s comes in. They give kids an Ohana, a family. That support means everything.