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CROWDRISE : May 05, 2014
Tax ID: 27-1617474
BASED: San Diego, CA, United States



Beyond the Surface International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit platform for youth empowerment projects using surfing and creative-learning initiatives as innovative mediums for positive social change.

BTSI develops safe space learning environments where youth can enjoy the freedom to explore their talents, interests and capabilities. BTSI facilitates innovative learning projects utilizing a free-progress education model to empower individuals to question socio-cultural norms and be courageous agents of change in their communities and beyond. 

BTSI addresses the problem that youth in marginalized communities face worldwide: homelessness, physical/sexual abuse, drug addiction, gang involvement, and poor educational opportunities that limit self-expression. Many charity groups, although well-meaning, attempt to solve this problem by addressing youth with set agendas that treat community members as mere beneficiaries versus stakeholders. This fuels a cycle of dependance. Youth develop as bystanders in their own lives. 

We utilize unconventional mediums (surfing, upcycling, art) to bring together youth from across socio-economic backgrounds to become positive change makers. The Platform breaks communication barriers by facilitating dialogues between poorer youth and the multibillion dollar surf industry. BEYOND equips at-risk youth to question and critique societal realities/assumptions. We enable youth to change their situations by developing their own voices and establishing their own agency: life does not simply happen to us. We all have a role in how our lives unfold, never mind our circumstances. Our approach brings together youth from diverse socio-economic circumstances in developing countries to participate in self-expression projects rooted in entrepreneurial ideals to create visions for their lives and a common/shared vision for their countries as the next generation. We collaborate with youth and their communities (coastal villages to city slums) to co-create each grassroots project. 


Tax ID: 27-1617474 •


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