Going Deep with the Boys
Since 2017 is Surfing The Nations’ 20-year anniversary, our theme for the year is “Celebrate” and we want to shine the light on some of our newest staff additions, Samuel, Daniel, Kevin, and Chase. We were so stoked on their decision to serve for the next 12 months, after graduation, that we thought we’d pick their brains – why are you here, what’s changed for you and what advice do you have for others. Read on to see what they had to say.
Chase Lorenz (20), DeLand, Florida: Why did you come, and why did you stay?
I actually found out about STN through Instagram and have always dreamed of coming to Hawaii ever since I was a little boy. Surfing has been an enormous part of my life, so when I saw that Surfing The Nations was based out of Hawaii, and they used surfing as their basis…how could I not come be a part of STN? During my internship, I was faced with the decision on whether or not I should return back to college in Florida, or stay in Hawaii with STN and continue with their next leadership program. By the end of my internship, I knew that my time here in Hawaii wasn’t up and there was so much more room for me to grow as a person here. I postponed my college plans and signed up for Surfers Leadership School. Now I have my dream job, in my dream home, and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Daniel Balogh (25), Raleigh, North Carolina: What has been your biggest personal change since joining STN?
Before coming to Surfing The Nations, I worked for a biotech company as a technical writer. It was a well-paying job at a company that was a great start to the engineering career I was pursuing. But I went to work every day wanting more responsibilities and looking to make a bigger impact but remained quiet about what I truly wanted. I was a shy person and didn’t have the confidence to speak up to my manager. By coming out to STN, I was able to come out of my shell. I became a lot more open and free and was able to step into my true personality. I gained so much confidence and saw a lot more potential in myself. Surfing The Nations has shown me that I can dream big and not be afraid to pursue my passions and desires. I don’t know exactly what my future holds, but thanks to STN I am able to be bold and remain excited about following my dreams.
Kevin Scott (24), Atlanta, Georgia: Tell us about something you’re proud of for achieving while here.
I am extremely proud of coming out of a life devoted to myself and things that I thought made me happy. Attending the Feeding The Hungry (FTH) program transformed my heart in such a way that I chose to give up whatever the “American Dream” told me was next. I felt the years passing by me but never felt any growth coming with those years. Since going through Internship and Surfers Leadership School I have grown into the man that I feel I am supposed to be. I have achieved a servant life and have a purpose that allows me to wake up every day excited to see how I can help and continue to be the best version of myself that I can be. Going through the intense schools that Surfing The Nations has to offer brought me out of a destructive lifestyle and into a place where my life experience is used every single day. Things have now come full circle as I am now on staff for FTH and get to witness that miracle every single week! I am beyond proud of the relationship I have been able to make with my houseless friends. I am beyond proud to say that the destructive lifestyle I was once in, was just a chapter in the book of my life and not the whole story or theme.
Samuel Snellman (24), somewhere in Finland;) What advice do you have for someone applying to come to STN but who is still on the fence?
If you have the desire to volunteer, if you like helping out for a good cause, if you are adventurous, if you would like to learn how to surf or maybe you already are a surfer and would like to surf on the famous North Shore every week and meet people from all over the planet – then this is the place for you! Join us and learn how you can give back to people and communities around the world. You’ll also get to learn more about yourself and how you can develop your character.
I came out for internship without really knowing what it would be like. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to do something else, something new, I wanted something more. This place and these people gave me more than I expected. It gave me a dream, a vision of what kind of man I want to be. It helped me see what’s important in my life and what I want to prioritize. This place has changed my life and I will never regret that – without really knowing what it would look like – I decided to do the internship at STN!