Born and raised in San Diego, Anna Santoro has always had a huge passion for the ocean and giving back. As a kid, if she wasn’t in the pool, she was in the sea, and started out catching waves by standing up on a boogie board. When she was 16, she got a short board and was hooked. As a teen, she joined SPRITES, a mother/daughter philanthropic organization that works with San Diego charities, and through those experiences she found happiness working with others for a greater good. During college, she spent summers teaching water sports to kids of all ages and then women at Surf Diva Surf School. Anna surfed semi-professionally for a few years, but competition surfing was never where her heart was. She desired to help others, and went back to school in 2009 to complete a Physical Therapist Assistant degree to aid patients in healing.
But surfing remained the mainstay of Anna’s passion, and she decided to move to Hawaii in 2011 after finding a Physical Therapist Assistant job near the North Shore of Oahu. While a physical therapy career was highly rewarding, she saw the need for active swimwear in Hawaii. She and Leane Darling partnered with JOLYN Clothing in 2013 and JOLYN Hawaii was born. This was an ideal match with Anna’s goals to help encourage women to live healthy and be active, and have opportunities to travel.
When Becky shared the concept of the Changing Tides Foundation, Anna knew this was the next step in combining her passion for surfing, philanthropy, women’s empowerment, and travel-- a perfect concept to create worldly momentum and positive change. After the inaugural Changing Tides Foundation trip to Jalisco, Mexico, delivering water filters to rural towns, Anna’s desire to help others internationally and reduce her environmental footprint took even more of a stronghold.
At the Changing Tides Foundation, Anna contributes to the social media platforms as well as manages the website, and seeks out collaboration possibilities. She knows first hand that social media can provide an ideal sounding board to motivate others to be their best self and create a better world.