Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Coach Profile: Wes in LA

Coach Profile: Wes in LA

LA Coach Profile

We chatted with our LA coaches recently to see how they got involved with STOKED, mentoring and action sports.  This week, learn more about Coach Wes.

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Coach: Wes

Coaches: Year 1

Sports: Skate, Surf, Snow

What do you love most about action sports and the industry?

I enjoy freedom of expression through skateboarding and being able to go anywhere in the world and see a kid with a skateboard and be able to connect even with language, culture, and religious differences.

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

I had a mentor growing up and wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I realized there are dreams and many are selfish – then there is a dream that involve living your dream and empowering others. It’s exciting to help others discover their talents and passions and to build.

What are you most excited for/looking forward to this year as a coach?

I am excited to get kids excited about dreaming, vision, and creating their futures. Without vision you have no motivation to move towards that destination. 

Who is your mentor and what is the best advice he or she has given to you?

My mentor was a surfer/skater who I met while he was in college, then saw his process of marriage, kids, and now stepping into leadership roles. He always told me to take responsibility for my actions and to not walk around with a frown on my face ’cause no one would want to look up to me or follow me if I walked around sad all the time. I was a sponsored skateboarder – he told me start having fun, smile, and use my influence for positivity.

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To learn more about STOKED, go here.

Coach Profile: Daniel in LA

Coach Profile: Daniel in LA

LA Coach Profile

We chatted with our LA coaches recently to see how they got involved with STOKED, mentoring and action sports. This week, read about Coach Daniel whose love of skating brought him to STOKED.

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Coach: Daniel

Coaches: Year 1 

Sports: Skate, Surf, Snow

What do you love most about action sports and the industry?

Being from Los Angeles which is known for having a huge background in skateboarding, I was always surrounded by it. I love how free I feel while I ride my skateboard and I also love how skateboarding can give you a sense of identity and help you make friends for a lifetime.

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

I chose to be a STOKED coach because teaching the kids how to skateboard has always been something I’ve wanted to do for years. When I saw the opportunity to finally do it I hopped on it because to me it’s a dream job.

What are you most excited for/looking forward to this year as a coach?

I am really looking forward to interacting with the kids and teaching them that they can achieve anything they want in life if they give it 110%.

Who is your mentor and what is the best advice he or she has given to you?

My mentor’s name is Javier Lopez. He is the owner of 3043 Boardshop which is the local skate shop in the city of South Gate and also owns Sensitive Skateboards. He’s heavily impacted and grown the skateboarding scene in the south east Los Angeles area. Growing up I’d look up to his company and his riders and dreamed to be a part of if somehow. Over time Javier had taken notice of me and began hooking me up with skateboards or anything I needed to keep me rolling. He’s heavily impacted my life in only positive ways and has taught me many life lessons and skills. To this very day he is my mentor and helps me forward in skateboarding and in my life and I just want to pass on what he’s taught me. 

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For more information on STOKED, click here.

 

Coach Profile: Dustin in LA

Coach Profile: Dustin in LA

LA Coach Profile

We chatted with our LA coaches recently to see how they got involved with STOKED, mentoring and action sports.  First up is Coach Dustin who was a mentor in NYC before joining us as a coach in LA!

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Coach: Dustin V.

Coaches: Year 1 & Year 2

Sports: Skate, Surf, Snow

What do you love most about action sports and the industry?

For the most part, action sports can be performed independently. That’s what I love most about them. It’s this concept of learning about yourself through a sport independently, then joining a larger community to continue to develop your unique experiences, style, and voice. With traditional team sports, this self discovery is reversed – meaning you may learn about yourself outwardly versus inwardly. I think this growth has more depth when it comes from within and action sports are unique in providing that independent platform from which to learn.   

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

It was a natural progression from the volunteer work I had done as a mentor in NYC. I’ve been familiar with the organization, its mission, and core values for a while. Since I was/am going through a professional transition period from leaving the advertising/marketing world, becoming a coach with STOKED came naturally. I am passionate about the organization, mentoring students, and skate/surf so it’s definitely a no-brainer in that sense. 

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What are you most excited for/looking forward to this year as a coach?

Developing the student’s curiosity for professional careers that align with their interests and will allow them to become financially self-sustained adults. Often times, young people are pressured into following paths that others have carved for them. I want to be able to find that perfect balance of encouraging them to pursue their own passion while guiding them towards professions with growing earning potential and job security.  

Who is your mentor and what is the best advice he or she has given to you?

I grew up without a mentor, and have recently come to terms with how that has impacted my life. For that reason, I am very much dedicated to being a mentor to others, because it is an unnecessary burden in life to have to figure things out on your own as a young adult. We need each other and we need each other’s help. With that being said, I do get a lot of sound advice these days from stoic philosophy mainly through understanding that there is nothing new under the sun. This means that that if someone in history has achieved greatness in the face of adversity, then that same success can and is bound to be repeated. That person can be yourself if you decide you want it to be.

To learn more about STOKED, click here.

 

 

 

STOKED x MOUNTAIN DEW Summer 2016

STOKED x MOUNTAIN DEW Summer 2016

Words & Photos: Dustin Valdez

I was asked to participate as a coach in the 2016 STOKED & Mountain Dew Summer Program. Without hesitation I said yes, since I’ve been a longstanding volunteer with and fan of STOKED. The summer program is a 6-8 week student-led project which is sponsored by Mountain Dew. 8 STOKED students were handpicked from various schools to participate in the program. Their goal was to create, plan, and execute a project that would benefit the Los Angeles skate community. With the help of Mountain Dew’s creative agency Motive, we introduced the students to branding, marketing, event planning, design, and networking principles to help develop their ideas.

Using these principles, our students created the Los Angeles Skate Movement. LASM is the brainchild of 8 students who identified a problem among current LA skate culture. The students noticed that most stake parks in LA were overcrowded, geographically isolated, and provided minimal opportunities for community bonding. Their initial solution to this problem was to create one-off skateboarding obstacles (ramps, boxes, or rails) throughout different communities to encourage a fluid urban skateboarding experience. This concept later evolved into a mobile series, since more LA areas could be targeted to increase community excitement and involvement.

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The students are currently in week 7 of the program and are in the process of finalizing details on how the project will come to life. In general, the vision for LASM is an ongoing event that will include a mobile skatepark, art workshops, music performances, and community service. Once these details are finalized, a kickoff celebration will be hosted and subsequent events will roll out across various neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

To promote LASM and its future events, Mountain Dew provided the students with a vendor booth at the 2016 Dew Tour in Long Beach, California. This served as a platform for the students to share their story and connect with those who have a passion for skateboarding and community building. After the 3 day event, they collected 100 pledges/emails from individuals interested in following their movement.

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The professional experience that our students have gained from this summer opportunity is coupled with invaluable personal achievements. One student, Brenda, designed the logo for LASM which was later used on flyers, t-shirts, and promotional signage at the Dew Tour vendor booth. This taught her how to apply her passion for art toward creating a powerful branding tool for her peers and community. Another student, Oscar, overcame a fear of public speaking when he volunteered to work the booth for all 3 days. By tapping into his natural gift of connecting with others, he became one of the group’s most effective brand ambassadors and helped contribute to a large portion of the collected pledges/emails.

Opportunities like these help our students grow. They help bridge the gap between abstract academics and applicable skills used in real-world settings. This process also allows them to tackle challenges which they perceive as difficult, and in doing so their self-esteem and confidence increases. This positive mental health state will help them meet similar challenges in school, work, and personal life with courage, determination, and creativity. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LASkateMovement/) and Instagram (@laskatemovement).