Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Stoked LA at HUGE

Stoked LA at HUGE

Words and photos by: Katie Ferraro

Just before our Year 2 students in Los Angeles headed to winter break, we loaded up the city bus and began the journey to the Huge LA offices to meet up with their team. This was our second meeting with the staff and now that we had gotten to know each other, we jumped into the principles of design thinking with both feet. Our students, though reserved at first, brought their insights as community members after interviewing their peers on the biggest concerns they face today.

To watch the process unfold was magic. Seeing our students’ preceding work come together & start to open up was so cool to watch. However, the most special part of the experience was feeling the pure joy exuding from the pros as they led the process. It’s clear the Huge team loves to create, and their passion was evident as they collaborated with our Stokers.

Huge really showed up for our youth and the amount of energy they brought to our day together was electrifying! They joined our students in the trenches, leading by example, and brought so much excitement to the development of their brands. Energy is one of our core values and it’s always refreshing to partner with brands like Huge that mirror that.

During the meeting we used our design thinking curriculum created by Huge which allows our students to think outside the box and voice their ideas, no matter how far fetched they may sound. With this type of brand (and character) development, it is imperative for our students to collaborate with their teammates in a unique way, seeing things from different perspectives. So far, it has proven to be a great exercise in teamwork, something that STOKED highly values and will serve our students well in the future.

When the meeting wrapped, both of our teams successfully uncovered their future brand ideals in the form of powerful problem statements to drive their projects. While I don’t want to give too much away just yet, for them, it was all about connection. It was really inspiring to hear the issues our students will tackle with their brands. I cannot wait to share how their brands develop in the next few months!

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STOKED: LA SKATE MOVEMENT

STOKED: LA SKATE MOVEMENT

Words by: Katie Ferraro

Photos by: Katie Ferraro & Dustin Valdez

This summer I had the opportunity to use my background in marketing and event planning in a big, meaningful way. I led a group of eight students in Los Angeles in creating an event from concept to implementation. The project, backed by Mountain Dew and powered by Motive, gave the students the opportunity to use their insights on challenges skateboarders face in LA to give back to their community. It was both inspiring and eye opening to watch this process unfold as they came up with an amazing plan!

As a coach in this environment, one of the biggest things I see is kids placing limits on themselves and their ideas. Despite this being present in planning their project, what they came up with was larger than life. They created LA Skate Movement, a festival style event featuring a skatepark with custom designed elements (made possible by California Ramp Works), art, music, and photography workshops, food trucks to fuel the excitement, and swag boasting the LA Skate Movement Logo which was designed by one of the students. When they showed up to the very first event (of 4), their faces lit up because it was clear that what was in front of them was beyond their expectations, but exactly what they dreamed up.

During the first event, artist Michael C. Hsiung led a sticker workshop where kids were encouraged to put their creativity to work by creating stickers that were true to them. Some of the students were so excited to share their creations, they decorated some of the STOKED skateboards for us all to enjoy.

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A legend in the skate industry, photographer and film maker Tobin Yelland brought a crew of photographers to the 2nd event and put high quality cameras in the hands of students and attendees, teaching them how to best capture skateboarders in action. They even got to take a printed copy of their favorite photo with them! This was especially cool because many of our students are interested in photography and take pictures of or film their friends skateboarding often.

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For event three, Scratch Academy brought digital and manual DJ set ups, giving everyone a chance to try out their DJing skills. Having the opportunity to get their hands on this technology was really cool for the kids because most had never seen or used them before. At the end of the workshop, they were able to create a spin art record branded with the LA Skate Movement logo to take home with them as an added bonus.

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Lastly, the biggest event of the all was the fourth event with professional athlete and Mountain Dew rider Nick Tucker. It was a packed house, but Nick graciously took the time to sign autographs, take pictures, and helped our students learn and perfect their tricks. To end the event and the series, we rallied everyone together, about 150-200 people, and recorded our own version of the mannequin challenge!

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It’s safe to say that this past Skate season was one of the most successful and fulfilling yet. Not only did our students get to create something meaningful and inclusive for their community, they also got to interact with parents, kids, and adults sharing something they are passionate about—skateboarding and art. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to make our student’s dreams come true!

 

 

Coach Profile: Katie in LA

Coach Profile: Katie 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 we feature Katie, who is also the Operations Coordinator in our LA office.

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Coach: Katie

Coaches: Year 1 & 2

Sports: Skate, Surf, Snow

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

I love the people and the overall culture. I grew up in Michigan with no background to the action sports industry, but after learning more, I knew I wanted to be part of it, mostly to crush the stereotypes which I had been so accustomed to. Everyone was so willing to support me in entering the industry and have continued to support me today.

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

I always knew I wanted to work in the action sports industry, but I also knew I was meant to be a part of something bigger than myself. The youth we serve are growing up in much different circumstances than me, yet continue to be an example of positivity, which has proven to be so humbling for me. I get to show these kids that there is a world of possibilities out there for them, even if they may see them as being out of reach.

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

I am most excited to serve as a role model for these students, creating connection, and empowering them to be the leaders that I see in each and every one of them. Most importantly, teaching them that leadership comes in many different forms and giving them the tools to find their voice.

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

To me, mentorship is so, so important. I have many mentors, but two to note are Mark Sperling and Lewis Howes

Mark has been my mentor from the beginning, when the action sports industry was completely foreign to me. He always encouraged me to keep going and take the opportunities as they come. It’s definitely been solid advice as I have been in the industry now for five years and counting!

Then there is Lewis, who is an incredible human. He’s been my mentor since the beginning of the year and he has coached me through a pretty major career transition and I’m extremely grateful for him. Probably the most valuable things he has taught me is to be 100% clear on my vision or what it is that I want (no matter how big or small) and to always live in gratitude.

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To learn more about STOKED, go here.

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.