Newport Aquatic Center Hosts Innovative Teen Inner Strength Camp June 27 – August 4

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Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Krisztina Zur, one of the many top athletes who are investing their time and talent with Teen Inner Strength Camp this summer.

Middle school and high school students dealing with common mental health-related issues like anxiety, depression, peer conflict, and family challenges have an opportunity to participate in a six-week summer camp starting June 27 hosted by the Newport Aquatic Center and led by noted athletes and professional clinical counselors specializing in mental wellness.

This Teen Inner Strength Camp, which is being funded through a private nonprofit grant, was created by Katerina Sorrell, a practicing Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Newport Beach, and Scott Sorrell, a Professor of Marketing at California State University, Fullerton.

The Sorrells approached Billy Whitford, Executive Director of Newport Aquatic Center – a non-profit facility in Newport Beach dedicated to promoting competitive and fitness-related rowing and paddle sports – with the idea of hosting the event there.

Whitford agreed, and stated that “I’m excited to be part of something not only incredibly uplifting, but also refreshingly different. I don’t think anything like this has been done before, and NAC is proud to be the venue for this life-changing program.”

Teen Inner Strength Camp mental wellness counseling team members: Sydney Moralice, Morgan Pinedo, AJ Dizon, Katerina Sorrell (founder), Peris Kamau, Valerie Villasenor, and Markela Yang.

According to Scott Sorrell, this camp is a “once-in-a lifetime” opportunity for teens, with mental health professionals joining forces with Olympic & World Champion athletes to create “a unique positive atmosphere that, in only four hours a day, aims to change these young lives permanently.”

According to information from the Sorrells, every Monday through Thursday from June 27 to August 4, students will arrive at 8 a.m. and for the next four hours create new bonds of friendship while enjoying kayaking, paddleboarding, and even team outrigger competitions, all while being coached by NAC staff and local Olympic and World Champion water sports athletes.

The students also will participate in facilitated group counseling sessions and practical workshops focused on gaining small and large victories over various mental health-related challenges.

“Our primary focus is teens and tweens who are struggling with issues arising from the pandemic and other life stressors,” said Katerina Sorrell, who, in addition to running a thriving psychotherapy practice, has also served for nearly 10 years as a school counselor. She has been named an Orange County School Counselor of the Year, a State Senate District Educator of the Year, and has been recognized with national and local honors for her innovative work with students during the lockdown.

“We are still taking camp applications from Orange County families who want to give their students a summer experience that will last forever,” said Scott Sorrell. “There are full scholarships available because students from families struggling financially often experience some of the greatest psychological pressure. No skill level is required for participants, although liking the water is a plus.”

Scholarships for this program are available. Interested families can email [email protected] for an application link. Interested qualified volunteers can do the same.

The Professional Counselor ( is a clinical practice in Newport Beach specializing in providing a variety of mental health and psychotherapy services for adults and children.


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