Wake Surfing with Outdoor Outreach

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"Feels great.. Stoked! Whooo!"

Luis Perez loves the outdoors, so it seems natural that he has benefitted and volunteered with outdoor outreach for nine years.

Outdoor Outreach connects the less fortunate with opportunities to explore the outdoors...
and Luis just finished his first round of wake surfing.

"Nature doesn't really judge any body..." Says Luis, "So it is a really good place to just go and be within yourself and just have a place to clear your mind."

A wake-surfer for 10 years, Marco Thompson has helped more than a thousand people make a splash.

Most recently, the youth from Outdoor Outreach at Lake San Vicente.

"Wake surfing is actually more fun than wake boarding. It's easier to learn and any body can do it." Says Marco. "In my own family, we didn't have the problem of access to the outdoors so we have taken it for granted and I think a lot of affluent communities take the outdoors for granted."

Lucy Alejos explains why donations and time help Outdoor Outreach connect with the right communities.

"People like Marco, are our champions they support the idea of connecting youth to the outdoors and we couldn't function as an organization without people who believe in the experience of the outdoors and believe in connecting all youth to the outdoors. So they are vital to our existence as an organization."

Since the late 90's outdoor outreach has served more than 10-thousand youth in San Diego. Ariel Stevens, involved with outdoor outreach for three years, actually transitioned from participant to program leader.

"A lot of them come from drug or alcohol abuse... Or some kind of gang violence a lot of them are in foster homes so we work with a lot of under privileges youth in Southeast San Diego."

Marco is just happy to share his love of the water with others.

"And then you see the opportunity that this gives to kids that never have the chance to surf, or ski, or wake board or hike because they are inclosed in their communities. Their communities are dangerous they don't have role models encouraging them to be active in the outdoors. As you have heard from these kids. It can make a huge difference in the vectors of their lives and how it impacts them."