TESTIMONIALS2018-05-04T11:03:31+00:00

Testimonials

THE BIGGEST SMILE

November 7th, 2018|

Thank you for putting the biggest smile on my child’s face I’ve ever seen. This surfing lesson was a magical experience for my son Mynor and one he’ll never forget. He enjoyed himself very much and said yes to going a second time when Jared asked if he wanted to go again. Words can’t express how grateful I feel for all of your kindness in putting such a beautiful event together. A million thanks from me, Sonia Escobar, the proud mother of Mynor. You may share my message with the world and the picture of my handsome son. Proof of his big smile.

-Sonia

GENUINE ENTHUSIASM

October 24th, 2018|

This was my son’s first time at an AWOW event. I was totally amazed! In fact I found it hard to keep my composure for the first hour. I was so taken back by the amount of people who were there to support our disabled loved ones and their genuine enthusiasm as they cheered on the athletes. I have to be honest, it was really hard to fight back tears. We usually don’t get a welcoming response as we journey through life. People look at my son as “a problem” and “an inconvenience”. So it was really touching to be in the company of so many caring and compassionate people who chose to spend time with our disabled family members.

-Eileen

ULTIMATE WIN

October 23rd, 2018|

This is my son Grayson on the board!! He has not stopped talking about the sick waves and next level surfing he experienced. Thank you to everyone that made this day such a huge victory for my guy. You cannot imagine how amazing this day was for our family. Special needs parenting is tough but when our kids win the victory stays with us!! That day was one of his ultimate wins!! Thank you!

-Dawn

ROCKSTAR

October 23rd, 2018|

Oh my goodness you all rocked our socks off yesterday at Sandbridge. My sweet Owen felt like a rockstar and I cannot express how much that means to us. I was overcome with emotions that when my youngest son, Foster, who has no challenges was taken out to catch a wave at the end of the day when he asked. My little man has spent so much time in waiting rooms and missing out on some things when we focus on Owen that this simple act of kindness and inclusion was powerful!

I enjoyed being a beach volunteer and getting to know athletes and AWOW folks. Each person was truly gifted with an unforgettable experience by you guys, and I saw some incredible compassion in instructors with athletes. My favorite story from yesterday was James and Quinn with all the instructors who really pitched in to get sweet Quinn in the water. It was magical!

Thank you for being present and for loving on our kids and families yesterday. I cannot wait to volunteer again next year, but more importantly I know that my sweet Owen cannot wait to catch the waves with anyone who will take him out next year!!!!

Oh, and when Swampy told me that I had been being bossed around by a 17 year old yesterday (DJango), I was astounded! That young man is so mature and he did a great job with us in the beach crew!

-Rhianon

FROM NLAND TO YOUTUBE

October 10th, 2018|

I wanted to say hello and once again thank AWOW for all you do. I wanted to share with you that Conor continued surfing since he first went surfing with you in November, 2017 and again in April, 2018 at NLand. In early August, we went back to NLand and tried private lessons. I told the instructor that my goal was for he and I to be able to surf together one day (despite the fact I haven’t surfed in years). We have been surfing once a week at NLand since then, and Conor is doing incredible! He’s on his own board and never misses a wave. We still surf with an instructor to learn rules and technique, but he is doing a great job and having a lot of fun. I now surf with them which has been so great for me too.
We have seen so many positive changes in Conor since he started surfing: he talks more, he is far more relaxed during the week and he initiates interaction with others.
So thank you all for getting us started. It has changed our lives for the better.
Conor even created his own youtube channel with some of his surfing videos. Check it out at:  Conor Corrigan.

-Shelly

SMILING EYES

October 3rd, 2018|

I really did not know what to expect, or how my child would react to surfing. My child is 13 and I rarely see her smile. I have a photo of her smiling with her eyes that I’ve saved since 4th grade.

Joe took her out to surf. She was so excited and felt proud of what she had done, and she was smiling with her eyes.

-Michelle

AUTISM UTOPIA

October 3rd, 2018|

My son Thomas, who is a 20 year old energetic non-verbal individual with autism, enjoyed the event in Montauk so much. It is so rare to find a community where someone on his end of the spectrum is included and accepted into open arms and hearts so enthusiastically and lovingly. That is the true beauty of what the surfing community does when they come together with AWOW to share with individuals with autism the mutual love of the ocean waves and surf. It is no secret that people with autism are attracted to water. The calm and peace my son felt afterwards was evident in the great school bus rides and great school days for the entire week afterwards which was reported to me by his teacher and bus staff. The calmness of his body and smiles on his face and the enthusiastic head nod YES he gave me when I asked him if he had enjoyed the day with all the surfers said it all, not to mention the restorative nights of peaceful sleep that followed not only for Thomas but for his whole family.

Hey, we could use this on a weekly basis please!!! I am dreaming of a future for my son that would involve living in a surfers commune kind of group home where this could be a way of living..drumming with their hands in the sand while listening to guitars and singing around a beach fire, eating delicious seafood and such, and catching waves on a daily basis with support staff in place to assist with their individual needs. An Autism Utopia!!! Let me know if this place exists and we will come. Aloha.

-Joyce

SWIMMING ALLIGATOR

October 3rd, 2018|

My son Elliot came to your event in Montauk on 9/8. He’s 2 and has been in various therapies and has gone to many specialists and been through so much since he was born. I was born with a deep love for the water, and I’d say that’s the biggest trait I’ve passed down to him. He is most comfortable and having the most fun when he is in the water. Still, I was very nervous for this day. Nervous because he has airway defects, nervous because he’s only 2 and can’t actually swim. He calls it being a “swimming alligator” and lays on his belly and splashes.

All of that disappeared when we got there. Everyone was so welcoming and happy and kind. There was issues trying to get Elliot in his wetsuit because he was freaking out, everyone just talked very calmly to him and just kept going, Elliot does this thing when he is overwhelmed and throws himself on the floor – basically giving up- everyone just knelt down and played with him. When our instructor, Tom or as Elliot calls him “Mr Tom” came over he was so patient and sweet easing Elliot into the water. When he finally got him out there, I couldn’t help myself I had to go in the water because I’m a nervous mom, but he did amazing. After three times on his belly Tom turned to me and said “next time I’m getting him to stand up! “. And he did! I couldn’t believe the smile on Elliot’s face and everyone cheering. I seriously had tears.

When Elliot was done he was hysterical crying wanting to go more and Tom was so awesome and took him out again. He took him alllll the way out. The women next to me were laughing about how I’m brave, and of course I was nervous, but you guys never made me doubt the safety of my child. Elliot got his wave and man, this time I was actually wiping away my tears. I’ve never seen my son so beautiful and happy and at home. He came out screaming “surfing Mr Tom’s board! Swimming alligator!”.

My son has speech issues and he has not stopped, every single day, saying he went “surfing Mr Tom’s board! Swimming alligator!”.

I honestly feel that day changed my life. Besides his birth, this was one of my absolute favorite days. We will be back and I would love to volunteer as well. Watching everyone that day, not just Elliot. It was emotional and spiritual and so beautiful. What you do for us, there are not enough words to describe it.

Elliot wears his t-shirt to bed, to school, he points to his pictures and tells strangers. We will be in Aldi’s on line and he’ll say “surfing Mr Tom’s board! ” To the stranger behind us.

Thank you so much for all you do for us and everyone who gets to share in this. I can’t wait for next year and I know Elliot can’t either.

So proud and honored to now be a part of the AWOW family.

-Gabrielle

ENERGY

October 3rd, 2018|

I have spent an ample amount of time in Los Angeles and San Diego working with service/charity events and the AWOW family has an energy I find truly incomparable.

– Emily

SALAZAR STRONG

July 16th, 2017|

What is AWOW?

A Walk On Water is a non profit organization that gives special need families a day free of worries, stresses, eases all concerns and provides freedom! From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave you are treated as family.

Now what is AWOW to us?

AWOW is our extended family, our son JJ has autism and a severe form of Epilepsy. He has many obstacles that prevent him at times from having a quality of life, however at our very first event he was smiling, playing with the sand and doing his best to interact with the instructors. There was an instructor who just clicked with him and his name was Ruben, Rube and JJ hit the waves and I watched in awe. Rube had to work for JJ’s trust but that didn’t seem to stop him.. now, so you know for comfort JJ is a fighter getting him from the sand to water is a bit tough but once he’s out there he LOVES it! In fact now a year or so later he will go out with Ben who is another AWOW instructor he has built trust with and truly loves the beach. If your a parent wondering if this would be a good fit for you I strongly recommend giving it a shot! The entire team is amazing! Patient, caring, loving and truly wonderful.

We have been very blessed to be a part of such wonderful souls! We can’t wait for the next event and to have some fun!!

– Nicole and Mike (Parents of JJ and Faith) of San Bernardino

TWIN LOVE

September 20th, 2016|

As parents of 2 special needs children, we strive to find happiness and success for our twin boys. We deal with the various daily challenges that life showers us with. However when we are at an A Walk On Water event,the world stops and we feel like it is a day to celebrate our children. At an A Walk on Water event, they greet us with open arms and our children are loved unconditionally. The world may be full of challenges and frustrations, but at an A Walk On Water event the only challenges the children face are the challenges they encounter out in the ocean catching waves alongside their surf instructors in a safe environment. Every wave is different , just like every child is different. Surfing provides so many benefits for our kids, it brings a sense of calm and happiness. It also builds their confidence and independence. Surfing benefits their body as well as their soul. Every member of AWOW guides them in this process. The pride kids feel when they catch a great wave is intrinsic and does not require any validation from the outside.But of course… everyone there on the beach will be their best cheerleaders and fans.We can see how relaxing, how exhilarating and how transforming this experience can be for our twin boys.Every AWOW staff plays an integral role : from the administrative role to the volunteers on the beach and the surf instructors in the water. It is a well run program comprised of efficient members.A.W.O.W is indeed ,”surf therapy”…and A.W.O.W. truly heals.

Thank you.
Blessings,”

– Nadine and Charles (Parents of Christian and Christopher) of Malibu, CA

TERRI | SANTA BARBARA, CA

June 4th, 2016|

I just wanted to thank you again for another wonderful surfing adventure at Hollister Ranch with AWOW. You and the other owners at Hollister Ranch are so generous to welcome the families of kids who have special needs to enjoy a fantastic day of beach fun at your beautiful private Bulito Beach! Everything was perfect. The kids and their families had a great adventure, and we felt very pampered. The AWOW family does a wonderful job of putting on this event. We have been so fortunate to be able to come three times! And our son, Kevin, has done better each time. This time, after a long time of Pat helping him, Kevin was able to pop up onto hands and knees, the best he has ever done. And the huge smiles on his and Pat’s faces, brought tears to my eyes! After that, Pat just had to push him off, and have another surfer catch him as he was able to ride in by himself (on his tummy, but all smiles!) Paul, Kevin, and I were absolutely impressed once again with the professionalism and caring that the AWOW group showed us. All the surf instructors, and all of the volunteers, did their very best to ensure a wonderful and safe time was had by all. Please pass along our heartfelt thanks to all the other owners at Hollister Ranch, for allowing this awesome event at their magical beach!

Thanks so much to everyone involved with A Walk On Water. We had an amazing day! It was so inspirational to see Brody out on the water. He was absolutely over the moon all day & like a different little boy when we got home. It really meant a lot that not only was Brody invited to go surfing, but his brother was also invited. We had the best day as a family that I can remember!

– Terri

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