Every month we highlight one of our amazing volunteers and share their story about AccesSurf.  This month we want to share a special story from our staff… the man behind the energy….. Ryan Chahanovich!

Ryan stood out from the very beginning. I remember him attending the training back in the days when we did our trainings at The Rehab of the Pacific. Ryan volunteered for many years before he made the transition to Program Coordinator.

There are not enough words to describe all that he does for AccesSurf. He is full passion, energy, dedication and pure love for AccesSurf. Bundled all that into one person then add a very wide range of skills and we get the worlds most incredible Program Coordinator

Mahalo Ryan for being you and doing so much for AccesSurf.

Aloha, Cara


It’s both an honor and a challenge to write about yourself, and I’ll give it my best try.

I first discovered AccesSurf about 5 years ago. I was volunteering as a basketball coach for Special Olympics Hawaii and mentioned to the SOHI Volunteer Coordinator that I was also a surfer, and she told me about AccesSurf. I attended the next volunteer orientation and was out at my first event the next month.

The moment I stepped on the beach that first time I knew that AccesSurf was something amazingly special, and I wanted to be all in. I still remember the first time Cara asked me to help volunteer outside of an event – inviting me to a meeting to help plan a new program, the adaptive swim clinics. It felt like such an honor, and I took the responsibility to heart.

My transition from volunteer to staff was informal and natural, starting out a few hours a week with some basic tasks. The tasks kept coming, and coming, and coming – and so my role grew. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make AccesSurf what it is – and it explodes my heart to see how we have grown over the last few years and to be able to work alongside such amazing humans – Cara, Ann, and Kristen (and Emily!). Not to mention all of our incredible volunteers! I’m blown away every day by the passion, energy, and dedication I get to witness from all of you.

AccesSurf is the most beautiful, special thing I have ever been apart of in my entire life. Every day I am thankful that my greatest passion has become my career. Thank you, I LOVE YOU ALL!!”