Lauren Ngan: Role Model

Role Model // Johnie Gall // 03/24/11
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Megan Nelms
Lauren Ngan
Lauren Ngan surfing.

Don't let Lauren Ngan's grace in the water fool you– she used to hate surfing. Forced into the water by her mom at age 14, Lauren is now a Bing and Etnies team rider, but we're more impressed by what she can do out of the water. We caught up with the 23-year-old– who recently spent a month in Bali fighting poverty at a surf house ministry– to discuss her early surf days and teaching for Young Life.

You've lived a few different places. Where did you learn to surf?
I was born in Fountain Valley, lived in Huntington Beach for two years then moved to Japan for two years. After that I moved to Washington for a year and then to Agoura waiting for our house to be built in San Clemente. We finally settled down in San Clemente for about eight years and I now live in Dana Point. I first learned how to surf when I was 14 at Doheny– the water was kind of gross.

Did surfing come naturally to you?
Nope, I would start crying in the water. My mom would force me to surf. It was bittersweet. I love it now, but before it was dreadful. I hated not being good at something right away.

How old are the girls you teach at your ministry, and what do you teach them?
The girls that I mentor are 16-year-old girls at San Clemente High School. I have been with them for almost a year and half. It has been amazing, they are like my little sisters! I wouldn't necessarily say I teach them things– I just love them for who they are and I meet them where they are at in life. Young Life is a pretty rad ministry. The heart of Young Life is meeting kids where they're at and earning the right to be heard. I throw a bible study once a week for them and it's a really cool time for the girls to just talk. I sometimes switch it up and take them hiking or for dessert!

When you aren't surfing or working at the ministry, what are you up to?
What am I not doing should be the question! When I'm not surfing or working I'm running or hiking. I just recently started doing yoga, which is really relaxing! Other than that I am with friends or studying at JC Bean.

Why is surfing important to you?
Surfing is important to me because it is me time. It's a time for me to relax and get away from school, work–whatever it may be.

What's your best advice for a beginner surfer?
If water just all of a sudden comes out of your nose, don't fret– it's normal.

What challenge would you like to overcome next?
I would love to travel more and serve other countries, specifically Japan.

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