The Coast News Group
The Changing Tides Foundation teaches underserved girls how to surf through its Women's Outreach Mentorship Program. Courtesy photo.
The Changing Tides Foundation teaches underserved girls how to surf through its Women's Outreach Mentorship Program. Courtesy photo.
CommunityEncinitasRegion

City awards foundation helping underserved girls to surf

ENCINITAS — The city awarded the Changing Tides Foundation a $5,000 grant to support their Women’s Outreach Mentorship Program, a surfing-based educational program for underserved girls in San Diego County.

The program takes place in Encinitas and pairs local participants with one-on-one mentors for an educational experience that occurs both in and out of the water. This year’s sessions occur on local Encinitas beaches between Sept. 6 and Oct. 25.

Since 1998, the Encinitas City Council has awarded funds to various local nonprofit organizations through the Community Grant Program. Using money from the city’s general fund along with outside donations, the grant program has supported numerous projects in Encinitas.

“We are so grateful that the city of Encinitas recognizes our outreach efforts in the community through our Women’s Outreach Mentorship Program,” said Olivia Melonas, executive director of the foundation.  “The space that we create each week for our participants promotes inclusivity, advocacy and education, and gives female-identifying youth a place of belonging through surfing, sisterhood and community.”

The foundation works with the Boys and Girls Club of Vista and local nonprofit Casa de Amistad to recruit underrepresented participants, particularly teenage girls from low-income communities. As the fiscal sponsor for Un Mar de Colores, a local nonprofit that also promotes inclusivity in the ocean through surf therapy and educational workshops, the foundation supports other community groups in its mission to empower women to protect the planet and promote inclusivity in the ocean and beyond.

The mentorship program has successfully served more than 100 girls in numerous international locations since 2017, including programs in Panama, the Dominican Republic, Peru and El Salvador. In 2022, the program launched in its own backyard of Encinitas with much success, providing 27 girls with the surfing-based educational program that will help them achieve their potential.

For more information about the foundation and its mentorship program, visit www.changingtidesfoundation.org or contact [email protected] to inquire about becoming a participant.