Tag Archives: Los Angeles



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.


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).


STOKED. Family. Igniters.

STOKED.  Family.  Igniters.

Words:  Constance Beverley

This year, we asked the STOKED Youth, on both coasts, what STOKED means to them.  Their resounding response:  “STOKED is family.”

We believe people (youth, mentors, supporters etc.) gravitate to us because we provide a real connection, unconditional support, and a safe place to follow your dreams.  For our youth, staff and mentors, each program day, after school session, skateboarding, snowboarding, or surfing trip, is an opportunity to grow and succeed in a safe, supportive place. We know we can trust each other and rely on each other to help us become the best version of ourselves.  That is STOKED.  STOKED is family.


Unfortunately, it’s hard to get every member of our STOKED family out to the beach, up to the mountains, or out to one of our partner schools.  We wish you could all come to every program day and build skateboards, meet with our professional mentors, and shred.  We wish you could share every minute of our 450 hours of programming per year, but we know, you have meetings, families, rock bands, start-ups, book clubs, crossfit, the works.  We also know, that doesn’t make you any less a part of the family.  STOKED is family.  Family is forever (even if you can’t make it to Thanksgiving this year).  

But if you want to be more involved, and help fuel all 27,000 minutes of STOKED Programming for 2016/17, there is a way and you don’t have to leave your desk, child, rescue pet, etc.  All you have to do is sign up to be a STOKED Igniter.

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What’s an Igniter – let’s say it’s that really awesome Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/etc. that always checks in on you, supports everything you do, and helps out by slipping you a little cash now and again. Or, in plain terms:  the STOKED Igniters are monthly donors (contributing either $27/month or $87/month) that support all of STOKED’s programming – every skateboard built, snack consumed, wave caught, kickflip landed, and powder turn made.  In exchange, we send you so much love and thanks – swag, parties, a private website/facebook group – and constant updates on all the awesome you’ve made happen in our lives, like the most grateful family member you could ever imagine.  You take care of us, we take care of you, because, STOKED is family.  

Our supporters make everything happen, with every instagram like, facebook share, hour volunteered, and dollar raised.  This family rocks.


Join the Igniter family today at www.stokedigniters.com.  

Student Profile: Kay in LA

Student Profile: Kay in LA

Words by: Kristy Bluem

LA Student Profile

Student: Kilatzli S.

Grade: Senior

School: Academic Leadership Community

Program: STOKED Year 2
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Kay is an amazing, bright, and talented young lady. It has been a true pleasure to watch her grow into the woman we know today. Kay started off in STOKED as a Junior last year where she was very soft spoken and kept to herself, but as she got more and more involved with STOKED she really found her voice!

Kay has taken advantage of every opportunity that STOKED has offered her, attending every weekend snow, surf, and skate trip she could. She had the opportunity to not only see snow, and go to the beach for the first time with us, but has since become an avid snowboarder and surfer. This year we worked with Kay helping her apply to colleges and prepare for the next phase of her life. She talked about her one true passion when applying to schools – STOKED! As she explained to me, “STOKED has been the one constant in my life the past 2 years, I have met the most amazing friends and mentors, all while experiencing so many things for the first time.” Kay recently received many college acceptance letters, one it particular from Willamette University which mentioned how awesome it was that she was in involved in STOKED.

After much thought and weighing all of her options Kay announced that she has decided to attend UCLA, with a partial scholarship. We couldn’t be more proud of her and all that she has accomplished. When I asked about her future she responded with, “ I couldn’t have done it without STOKED, you all have taught me so much. I will be forever grateful and always a STOKER!”

STOKED on Spring

STOKED on Spring

Words by: Katie Ferraro
Photos by: Dara Denysyk

What happens when you bring together passionate people, celebration, and shopping? Happiness ensues!

On April 21, STOKED teamed up with Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica for “STOKED on Spring,” a shopping event hosted by actress, model, fashion designer, and STOKED supporter Joy Bryant. STOKED staff, mentors, board members and donors gathered to celebrate and shop for a cause!

During the event, the STOKED community was treated to appetizers, beverages, and music by DJ Luke Da Duke. Together, we raised over $2000 for STOKED’s Los Angeles Programs!

Thank you to Bloomingdale’s, Joy Bryant, and everyone who attended STOKED on Spring! Your contributions and support are making a huge impact on the lives of some truly amazing kids.

This year, STOKED is celebrating 10 years in Los Angeles! Our program has thrived thanks to dedicated, compassionate, and positive mentors who volunteer their time to spend with our students. Ready to make an impact? Register to volunteer with us here.

Check out the photos from the event:

STOKED on Spring SignageBar STOKED SupportersDisco Balls Joy Bryant Overview Step and Repeat Constance and gang

Find out how you can support a student through one of our STOKED programs by becoming a STOKED Ignitor here.