Szilvia Gogh’s decade of volunteering with A Chance for Children
“Ten years ago, one of my scuba diving students told me about her volunteer work at A Chance for Children youth camp,” said Szilvia Gogh, PADI Scuba Course Director, inspirational jewelry designer, and entrepreneur. Something connected in that moment. “I wanted to work with a local charity instead of just donating money to one and am passionate about giving children a chance to express their feelings through jewelry making,” said Gogh.
Growing up in the Eastern Block nation of Hungary, Szilvia knows firsthand about obstacles and challenges and wanted to share some inspiration to show others that obstacles and challenges can be overcome. She bought beads, semi-precious stones, wire, and supplies and volunteered to host a jewelry-making event with A Chance for Children, an LA-based nonprofit serving at-risk youth founded by Baywatch creator Greg Bonann and partner Tai Collins.
For the past decade and counting, Szilvia has continued to share her skill and passion for creating meaningful jewelry with A Chance for Children kids. She teaches about different semi-precious stones, their countries of origin, and healing powers—and encourages kids to connect with their creativity. “It blows my mind that I can give the same semi-precious stones to 30 children and at the end of the day I will see 30 different designs.”
She also offers inspiration with stories of her world travels and diving adventures, reinforcing the philosophy evoked by Winston Churchill’s famous words. “Never, never, never give up!” This phrase and the kids inspired Gogh’s creation of the “Never Give Up” dog tag necklace series. This necklace is much more than just a beautiful accessory; this piece, just like her work with A Chance for Children, holds special meaning for Gogh. She believes that the mind is a powerful tool, and in never giving up, she encourages the young people to believe in something so that it will happen. The inspiration is definitely a two-way street. “Helping these children and doing something fun for them fills me with a joy that money can’t buy,” she said.
Szilvia designs her jewelry lines based on her passions. The Ocean Collection carries inspiration from her travels teaching scuba diving, and The Yoga Collection centers on the breath, healing, tranquility, and strength.
Szilvia Gogh was the youngest female in the world to become a PADI Scuba Course Director, is a stuntwoman, adventure show host, yoga enthusiast, and world traveler. She is fortunate to make a living by following her passions: collecting beads and stones on her travels to create one-of-a-kind jewelry inspired by her experiences. goghjewelrydesign.com
A Chance For Children
A Chance for Children strives to empower at-risk youth by providing the opportunities to set goals and the tools to achieve them. They fight to instill the belief that no child is limited by his or her surroundings or upbringing. By encouraging dreams and consistently exposing them to new experiences outside the dangers and struggles of their daily lives, all children will have a chance for a better future. achanceforchildren.org
Shawna McLean is a freelance writer living in Playa del Rey.