Carissa Moore has a reputation that proceeds her. She’s a five-time world champ and a force in the water. But off the water, Moore is legitimately one of the kindest and most genuine people you’ll ever come across. She’s all about paying homage to her culture and giving back to the surf community.
A prime example? In 2018, Moore founded a non-profit that’s all about empowering and inspiring young women. Through Moore Aloha, the native Hawaiian hosts events that include activities like surfing, yoga, lei making, hula dancing, beach cleanups, journaling and goal setting, and body-image talks. Here, the Olympic gold medalist talks with us about the mission of Moore Aloha, and how girls can get involved.
So what inspired Moore Aloha?
Moore Aloha was a vison/passion project that my dad and I had. It was really inspired by the Hurley Surf Club — they ran an event at Kewalos and had me come down and be the pro surfer who mentored the girls for the day. I was blown away by how many young girls showed up to the event — they were wide eyed and open to absorb information and were so excited. It brought back memories of when I was a little girl and I went to Rochelle Ballard’s camps and how much it meant to me to spend time with my heroes and how much influence they had. I’ve always wanted to find a way to give back in my own way. There are so many great non-profits already out there, so I wanted to do something unique that I’m passionate about — women empowerment and the aloha spirit.
So how does Moore Aloha go about accomplishing that?
Basically by creating space for girls to be themselves and make friends. Growing up can be tricky with all the different distractions and things that will try to shape you into being something that you’re not. I want to make it something positive, something happy, and encourage girls to step outside of their comfort zone and chase their dreams. The core values are around aloha, love, and treating yourself, others, and the world with kindness.
Why did you decide to focus on just women?
I’ve definitely seen an inequality, being a woman in surfing at times. It’s improved and evolved so much but I remember when I was growing up there weren’t the same divisions to compete and the same opportunities. I can also relate more to the female side because of course I am a woman, and I know during those crucial developing years, sometimes it’s easier to just go with the crowd and do what everyone else is doing.
I want to show girls how to feel confident in their own skin and embrace what makes you, you. I want to give girls the confidence and empowerment to know that they can do things that are hard and that scare them and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
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Talk about the Moore Aloha events.
With my schedule, the events that I can physically be at are limited, so we aim for three to four a year. Most of our events cater to 20-25 girls. I really like that intimate setting to give each of the girls actual, hands-on time. Ages 10-16 is what we typically cater our events to because it’s an age where girls are developing and growing. This year, I’m partnering with Super Girl and we’re doing an event in Oceanside. We’re also going to do a women empowerment event in October and cater towards university students.
How can girls get involved?
Most of the events that I do have an application process. Usually, there’s an essay or a video submission and I usually have a prompt so I can get the girls to think about the world around them. For example, the application I did for the events in Oceanside and Jacksonville, the girls had to submit a video talking about what they think makes a super girl and a way they’ve contributed more aloha to their community. Their responses filled my heart because there are some really good kids out there — it’s really sweet to see them be so vulnerable and genuine and take the time to do something like that.
The name Moore Aloha, what a brilliant pun.
My dad came up with Moore Aloha and I thought it was really fun because it’s obviously a mix of my last name and it pays tribute to where I come from. I think it rings really true and encompasses what the whole non-profit is about: love.
Gives us you future vision of Moore Aloha as you continue to work on the foundation.
The goal would be to have more events during the year and to be able to impact more girls. It would be great to start a mentorship program where we have other events developed and run by other girls and have them create their own sort of gatherings. And maybe other pro athletes and other people that have stuff that they can share can come be a part of those events as well. I just want to keep growing it, make a positive impact, and get girls stoked.
In the near future, I’m working on a global exchange with Japan for the end of the year! We also just started monthly essay prompts where we award a $200 scholarship each month. Our goal is to start a paid internship in October for girls who are looking for experience in social media and editorial — I thought that would be fun to give girls experience, a little bit of extra money, and put something on their resume.