You start out doing something one way, then you end up doing something else.
Such is life. You make decisions out of survival.
When I STOKED started, we simply needed to keep the dream alive and to make our programs something that made a difference in the lives of kids.
We started as just a mentoring program then evolved into a youth development program.
We raised money by throwing parties. That had to change so we diversified our funding.
And because we are a community of shredders, we are about progression. Pushing ourselves. Never staying the same.
What hasn’t changed is the fact that our goal is to get youth from underserved communities to become successful in life using action sports.
I realized that we’re not the average non profit when I got a phone call last year from Dr. Rebecca Tekula (pictured above) the executive director of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University. She told me that STOKED was chosen as their social enterprise in residence. We’re now entering our second year this month.
STOKED is in great company. The previous social enterprise in residences included Majora Carter, Donors Choose, and Greyston Bakery. It’s pretty rad! We get to hang out with and pick the brain of really smart people all to benefit STOKED.
In addition, a group of business students worked on a business plan for us, I speak at various conferences at PACE, network with professors, and we receive a free full time intern every summer. Our previous intern Hannah just got a Fulbright and ran Stoked to Serve last summer with Quiksilver.
I couldn’t be more pleased to announce that our 2008 Mentee of the Year Zaidy, is our intern this summer. Best of all, Pace and the Wilson Center are paying her to work with STOKED.
Crazy that 6 years ago, our intent was to help kids like Zaidy succeed in school and life and now she is helping us.
Moral of the story… start something now and wonder in amazement where you’ll end up. You can end up becoming more than what you set out to be.