Meet The 15 #ThisFirst New Hires From Around The World

Meet The 15 #ThisFirst New Hires From Around The World

We weren't quite sure what the reaction would be when we decided to ask the Internet, "What's your 'this'?", to say we were pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. You, everyone who submitted an entry into the #ThisFirst contest, completely blew us away. We were flooded with over 10,000 photos, videos and statements of passion and what being able to put that passion first in life would mean. Entries spanned a variety of topics, the most common being art, photography and travel, while music, surfing and skateboarding followed closely behind. But it wasn't just artistic globetrotting types with a passion for boardsports that entered, people pursuing passions as varied as sustainable farm to table food sourcing, charity work, animal rescue, make-up artistry and even crochet, all shared their stories with us.

To pick just 60 finalists from the thousands of entries who would go on to do a video call with Volcom, our panel of judges sequestered themselves in an office for a week to go through everyone's entries. The deeper they got, the less it felt like they were going through contest entries and the more like they were parsing the results of a massive survey which was beginning to reveal some trends; A lot of you like to take photos and want to travel, especially Australians. Aspirations to become a successful YouTuber were not uncommon. And entrants in Asia had a tendency more than any other region to focus on charitable giving.

But if we thought making our selection of the 60 finalists was hard, narrowing that field of finalists down to 15 winners was even more difficult and we appreciate everyone's patience (yes, we saw your comments on Instagram) awaiting the announcement. Before introducing the winners below, we just wanted to take a final moment and express how truly humbled we were by all the finalists and what it is that is driving you to purse your 'this'. To you and everyone else who entered and gave us a peek into your lives, we cannot thank you enough!

Now without further ado...

Sara Becker

Artist | Philadelphia, PA, USA

A printmaker and illustrator who through her art is working to challenge the stigma of mental illness.

Tim Briggs

Photographer | Boston, MA, USA

A underwater and conservation photographer who wants to bring greater awareness to the issues facing the Earth's oceans, lakes and waterways.

Brandon Clements

Podcaster & Journalist | Houston, TX, USA

Realizing he was meant to be facilitating conversations, Brandon is stopping at nothing to build his podcast and other journalistic endeavors.

Canarus Leon

Dancer | Houston, TX, USA

Once Canarus got a taste of B-boying there was no turning back, as a member of the crews, MZK and RAD, Canarus hopes to qualify for and compete in the Freestyle championships in a Los Angeles this fall.

Robert Wall

Cliff Jumper | Burney, CA, USA

A drone piloting freestyle cliff jumping adventure seeker from Northern CA, looking to legitimize the sport by bringing greater awareness to people pioneering the sport.

Anaïs Chausse

Obstacle Course Racer | France

Running, jumping, climbing, crawling, Anaïs is training for the Obstacle Course Racing championships in Canada this October.

Joanna Painter

Artist | United Kingdom

A large format charcoal and pastel artist, Joanne is looking to take her artwork to greater heights.

Ángel Pérez

Filmmaker | Spain

Having studied filmmaking, but not knowing where to start, Ángel invented a fictitious brand of Horchata so that he could create commercials for the company. Ángel plans to continue his Horchata video franchise.

Steffen Türmer

Photographer | Germany

A mechanical engineering student with a passion for bicycling and analog photography, Steffen plans to bike from Germany all the way to France to the Atlantic ocean.

Carolina Paz

Muralist | Peru

An urban artist from Peru, Caro specializes in murals that attempt to affect social change and bring a bit of beauty to chaos of city life.

Fabian Ruiz

Street Performer | Costa Rica

A one-man band who plays a slide guitar made from a skateboard, Fabian is eager to continue to travel and play for whoever will stop and listen.

Simón Sepúlveda

Designer | Chile

Simón is tackling social issues through his artwork and exploring the effects immigration has on creative output in attempt the break into new areas of design.

Tylah Kerr

Promoter | Melbourne, Australia

Trying to break her way into the music business, Tylah is ready to quit slanging tickets for a corporate behemoth and concentrate on her own production and management company.

Atsushi Miki

Drummer | Japan

Mixing his love for the drums and all things percussion with Wadaiko, the traditional drum in Japan, Atsushi is looking to bring his style of performance to a global audience.

Chen Yu Ching

Volunteer | Taiwan

Passionate about helping those in need, Chen is working to help build a school in Thailand and dreams of one day starting her own organization to foster volunteer work.