We met Ryann when she and her twin Nate were about 5 years old. They attended a JIMMY Family Surf Fiesta, watched the surfing and the fun, along with their parents, Debbie and Adam. The Goldberg’s were owners of Fresh Brothers Pizza, who was the name sponsor of the JIMMY that year. (And for all the following years!). They vowed to come back the following year and surf, which according to Debbie and Adam, set their family on the path to being full members of the JMMF tribe. We asked Ryann to tell us about her involvement with JMMF and a little about herself.
1. Why do you volunteer?
I love sharing my passion for the ocean with others. As a surf instructor, I work one on one with the athlete I am paired with. From the land lesson to the water, I am there to support and encourage them. Getting an athlete standing on their first wave is the best feeling in the world. Their smiles radiate not only immense happiness but also pride in overcoming their fears. And they just keep going, wanting to catch more waves. Showing the athletes how to have fun in the ocean is such a rewarding experience.
2. Why JMMF?
The JMMF is special because of its emphasis on connection. Starting the day with the group circle to talk about the theme of the day allows everyone to share a part of themselves. Discussing topics such as gratitude, mindfulness, or passion, by the end, the group feels like a close-knit community. While the athletes’ surf, cheering, and high fives are endless. Every session is filled with positive and uplifting energy.
3. What is your favorite memory from a JMMF session?
Last summer I was paired with a female athlete from Happy Trails that was around my age. We immediately connected and talked throughout the entire session. Initially, she was nervous to surf but with enough encouragement, she decided to give it a try. Once she caught her first wave she didn’t want to stop. We had so much fun together. After the session, she found me on Instagram and sent me a message thanking me and said was going to ask her parents to buy her a surfboard. It was amazing to have such a positive effect on someone, and she had such a positive effect on me.
4. What is your current occupation and how does it prepare you to volunteer to help others?
I am currently a student in high school. Being one of the younger volunteers has helped me to connect with and relate to the younger participants.
This summer, in addition to volunteering in the water, Ryann has helped us with social media and has raised the bar on our communication with our community.
Thank you, Ryann and the entire Goldberg Family, for your years of support!