Tag Archives: Los Angeles

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.

Women’s History Month Profile on Alyssa Roenigk

Women’s History Month Profile on Alyssa Roenigk

Words by Katie Ferraro:

I will never forget how I felt after I read Gus Kenworthy’s story about his coming out to the world in ESPN The Magazine last year. The words that Alyssa Roenigk used to tell his beautiful story painted a perfect picture to show how empowering it is to be your true, authentic self. Alyssa not only inspired me and so many others with Gus’ story, but also single handedly reignited my passion for writing and it made my heart sing.

When I looked back to research Alyssa after Gus’ story was published, I realized that I had met her during one of the STOKED weekend mentors in Los Angeles. Turns out, Alyssa has been a STOKED Igniter and supporter for years, but is also a compassionate, fearless, and inspiring woman.

We couldn’t think of a better person to give the spotlight to for our women’s history month series than Alyssa.


Alyssa Wonder Woman

Alyssa Roenigk ESPN Motocross

photo: ESPN.com

If you could pick 1 thing that you would be remembered for, what would it be?
As a person who put more light into the world than she took from it.

One piece of life advice for young people?
Relationships matter. The way you treat people, interact with colleagues, live up to your word and have integrity in your work is just as integral to progressing in your career—and in life—as talent and skill. And don’t be late. If a story is due on Thursday, turn it in Wednesday night.

What don’t people know about you? What’s your secret talent?
I like to walk on my hands. I grew up in gymnastics and was a cheerleader at the University of Florida. I’ve always felt very comfortable being upside down.

If you given an award what song would you walk out to?
One of my favorite songs is Alison by Elvis Costello. When I was a kid, Alyssa wasn’t a common name. The first time I heard “Alison”, I mis-heard the lyrics and thought he was singing my name. As a writer, your byline matters, but mine is often misspelled and I’ve shown up to many events picked up credentials with the name Alison or Alisa or Elissa printed on them. There’s a good chance my name would be misspelled on this award, too. So this song would make me laugh. And be perfect.

Who’s your She-ro?
Growing up, I don’t remember having a particular woman I looked up to, because I didn’t know I was supposed to differentiate between the men and women I admired. When I was 5, I wanted to be Terry Bradshaw. I credit my mother for allowing me to believe it was possible that I could one day become quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. She never told me that was a silly dream. Of course, at some point, society began reminding me—far too often, I should add—that I am, in fact, a girl and that I should begin altering my dreams to fit this handicap. So “my mom” is the answer to this question, because I always chose to believe being a girl was badass. This week, in fact, at 64, my mom and I attended a Harley Davidson Riding Academy and got our motorcycle licenses. My mom hadn’t ridden a motorcycle in nearly 40 years and pushed past her insecurities about handling a 450-pound motorcycle (she weighs about 120 pounds) in front of a group of judgmental strangers and she did wonderfully. Then she kicked ass on the test. What better role model could I ask for than her?

Alyssa Pittsburgh Steelers

Check out our previous Profiles of Ann Kaatz, and Meg Hale


STOKED Visits Streetwear Brand REBEL8

STOKED Visits Streetwear Brand REBEL8

Words by: Kristy Bleum

Photos by: Kingston Photography


The students at one of our schools in Downtown LA were lucky enough to be hosted by REBEL8 recently for a special experience.

REBEL8 is a cool streetwear brand that was founded in 2003. Their designs are heavily inspired by classic skateboard graphics, graffiti, and tattoo art.

We were stoked for this opportunity.

The school campus is less than a mile away from the REBEL8 warehouse, so we skated over to check out their offices and warehouse.

STOKED loves working with brands and companies to provide unique and one of a kind memories for our students.

As corporate employees, creatives, and entrepreneurs, the normal day to day dealings of going to work in an office, being a conference room for a meeting, or seeing how a warehouse works can be opportunities to inspire our kids.


We were greeted by Kerstyn in marketing, who gave us a tour of the office and introduced us to the guys who work in the warehouse, their photographer, Kingston, and the owner and creator of Rebel8, Josh.

The kids got a ton of insight on what it takes to have and run a successful business.

Our students were very inquisitive asking many great questions about how they could get a job working there one day.

looking at art

At the end of the day they even got to skate around the warehouse and had such a blast.

We had a fantastic time and learned a ton. It was really an amazing day, and the REBEL8 crew invited the kids to come back anytime they want!

Thanks so much to all of their employees for giving our kids a rad, unique opportunity.

If you’d like to get involved with STOKED and share what you do with our students, drop us a line here.

kids skating at rebel8

Having A Conversation on Giving

Having A Conversation on Giving

Have you ever had an intentional conversation about giving?

Well, that’s what almost 100 of our Los Angeles community did a little while ago.

We hosted a great conversation with some dear supporters at the Santa Monica location of General Assembly.

In the past, we’ve hosted happy hours, a sample sale, and my dinners in the back of chinese restaurants when we were much smaller.

What was interesting about this was that I moderated a discussion with 3 of our long time supporters: YuLin Olliver, Brian Dolen, and Mark Sperling. I asked them questions like:

What makes you give to STOKED?

What makes STOKED special?

Tell us your favorite STOKED story…

The audience was filled with long time supporters – folks with STOKED Los Angeles for almost 10 years and many new folks. We were surprised when Brian presented us with a $7000 check from Loaded Boards and we were able to raise an additional $3000 from the crowd.

In all we loved the event and it inspired us to think of more conversation type events for our community. Check out pictures from the event below.

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