Our Los Angeles program has a real skate crew. With our expansion into a new schools, we picked up a few more Stokers who are skaters. The best part of it is that they really rip. There’s a benefit to having a skate crew and it’s beyond just landing tricks and having fun with new friends. The purpose and the goal of our skateboard program is to increase social skills, communication skills, and positive social habits. The added benefit of a city like Los Angeles is that skateboarding literally is a mode of transportation for our students and definitely the most eco-friendly program we ever had.
Our students come from all schools, different neighborhoods, and backgrounds. They all join STOKED because they’re looking for new experiences and new friends. Little do they know that they get much more. In this skate program, they’ve taken to teaching each other how to skate, asking each other for advice, and supporting one another in their goals. We know from our experience that skateboarding is inherently mentoring based, but it’s exciting to see play out with our program growth.
New Environments & Experiences
Los Angeles is geographically isolated. Our students live on the east side of Los Angeles (Downtown LA, South Central, and McArthur Park) but the beach and skateparks are on the west side (Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu). Our students rarely have the chance to leave their neighborhood, meet different people, and experience new things. We take the city bus to Santa Monica for less than $2 per student. The students hang out with positive mentors who are role models. They skate for hours on end. A group of Stokers even carry a boombox in a backpack while skating to provide entertainment. They skate along the beach and look at the ocean. It sounds simple and unglamorous but for our students this is heaven.
There’s no better exercise than skating from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Pier. There are some days during the skate mentoring program that students skate up to 10 miles. We’ve seen some great benefits from all this physical exercise in our students. Students have become better skaters, more focused in school, weight loss, and improve their cardiovascular health. We love skateboarding for all those benefits and that’s why we’re planning more programs in both our program cities.