Reaching Beyond our Walls

Our monthly #GoodSharing event that first took place April 2-4th has brought forth collaboration, resource sharing, community and events like the one I’m sharing with you today.

There was an energy of being in a space with like-minded, community involved people with a deep sense of calling and a need for local collaboration to make lasting, effective change. Two of the attendees that brought their hearts, mission, and desire to give and receive resources were Dan Yost and Joyce Maybin Nesmith

Dan Yost, founder of Y20 (Youth 2 Ocean), a non-profit organization that provides positive youth development through opportunities in water sports, environmental education, and exploration of nature, especially for underserved and at-risk youth.


Joyce Maybin Nesmith, founder of Beyond Our Walls, also a non-profit organization that consist of grassroots citizens who care about children and believe education is a key to success for their futures.


Both of these Non-Profit, 501(c)3 organizations are doing amazing things in our local community and have similar mission statements as far as empowering our youth. One thing we discovered at GoodSharing, which is a developing movement in Charleston, was each organization had a need.   Y2O had a need to find more youth programs to bring to their events, and Beyond Our Walls was needing educational activities to engage their youth community!  PERFECT!



“To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.”           -Oscar Wilde




We arrived early to help set up and to be sure not to miss ANY of the excitement!


Y2O had all the supplies needed to entertain enthusiastic kids on the beach which included: a tent for shade, a big gatorade cooler filled with ice cold water, surfboards, seine nets for fishing, and several educational guides to learn more about wildlife, sea life, and plant life.




When the bus arrived the kids came RUNNING on the beach and headed straight for the surfboards!  To see their excitement was comparable to watching kids on Christmas morning open their presents.  Y2O started off the day with introductions, safety precautions, and played a fun game to get everyone acquainted.  Then they divided the group into three different activities: surfing lessons, fishing, and wildlife exploration!IMG_7161


As you can see, there was zero hesitation as they ran with their surfboards to the water.  They dove right in with big hearts and joyful smiles to ride the waves.









The fishing took a little bit to get use to, but once they did….watch out!! When they caught a fish there was a loud celebration and echos of, “We caught one, come see!”  So, of course we all went running to see the catch of the day! I think using a big net to catch that small fish is pure talent!;)


IMG_7253Can you see the fish on the left side of the bucket?



Here’s a closer look!







We found shells, spotted pigeons, and seagulls. We witnessed fish swimming around our feet, and even picked up some litter to help keep our beaches clean.



Joyce and I had a conversation as the activities ensued and she shared what drives her passion with the children she helps.  As I listened, I heard her hopes and dreams of giving these kids the tools and resources to be the best they can be.  She explained that the people of the community can offer youth so much of their own experiences and knowledge, but more than that, we want the youth to know that we believe in them and they can do anything they put their mind to.  Years from now when they are grown adults and are asked about something as simple as surfing, they can say that they’ve had that experience.  They got to enjoy and indulge in what their local community had to offer because of a few people who simply cared.

It was my pleasure attending their collaborated event and as always, I was left moved, touched, and inspired!

May I suggest, if we want to live for something bigger than ourselves, let us please consider living with the awareness of our future generations.  They are like a book with blank pages and have a promise of great stories to be told. We can nurture them like growing seeds in hopes that they achieve their brightest bloom.

Thank you to Y2O and Beyond Our Walls for being the change we wish to see in the world!

With love,

Gena J.

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