It was a warm and sunny Friday afternoon at the beach when 16-year-old Monica Candelario learned something new about herself.
"I learned that I'm brave," she said. "I know when I put my mind into something, I can accomplish it."
Although she was afraid to get on a surfboard and learn to catch a wave, the excitement of tackling something new helped push her through.
When Monica, a member of SteppingUP, a college preparation program offered by the nonprofit Orange County Community Housing Corp., first heard that her group was going to learn how to surf, she right away decided against the idea.
But after thinking about it, she knew she had to do it because it would teach her something beyond the obvious lesson.
"I feel getting out of your comfort zone is good because, in life, you're not going to always be in your comfort zone," Monica said.