My journey with Wipeout Crew began when I was a junior in high school. This was the prime time to be extremely active in clubs, sports, and rack up as many academic awards and shiny golden stars to your name. College applications were coming up and I had nothing to put in the lines of "achievements," or "clubs and sports."
So I scrambled to find a club because well for one, I couldn't play any of the sports at my school, and two, I wasn't a genius. Wipeout Crew appealed to me because it sounded like a cool surf club. I thought we would just cruise at the beach for club activities and it was going to be easy. Boy was I wrong...about the easy part.
It was countless beach clean ups, community service, and gardening days at our garden in the lovely corner of the school. Week after week there were beaches to clean and events to attend to. But after about a few months of forcing myself to participate, I began to learn so much about environmental issues and the concepts of sustainability.
Seeing and collecting tons of trash (literally tons), a sense of urgency built inside of me. I always thought that the environmental problems everyone raves about happened in other places, not my own home. I was so ignorant in my own island bubble that I hadn't realized that these are real issues happening right in front of me. This was when my passions for sustainability sparked and I became heavily active to try to make a change.
I'm not one to take on big roles but I gratefully took on leaderships in the club and helped to host many clean ups and educational booths at other schools and collaborated with many other organizations such as Surfrider, Sustainable Coastlines, and Friends of Hanauma Bay to name a few. I got to testify at the Capitol for the first time in attempt to ban styrofoam and single use plastics in Hawaii. We even ran an Earth Day Festival at our school with food trucks, live music, and educational booths! That festival nearly drove me to the ground, planning a big event like this gave me sleepless nights, blood, sweat, and tears quite literally.