Tag Archives: Los Angeles

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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The Los Angeles Skate Crew

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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.

 

Peer Mentoring

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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.

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Physical Exercise

 
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.
 

STOKED Igniter Miki Reynolds in a Saucony Campaign

MIki Reynolds

Every now and then, we get some incredible opportunities that not only benefit our youth or organization, but also our mentors and supporters. We’ve said it time and time again, STOKED is a community. We wouldn’t exist without the support of our adult supporters. So when running sneaker company Saucony through their agency, Mechanica USA and their Creative Director Libby DeLana wanted to feature STOKED in their #findyourstrong campaign, Miki came to mind.

Miki joined STOKED is 2008 and was matched with Karen, a young shy teenager near downtown Los Angeles. Miki dove head first into our community. Surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding. Spending time with Karen, mentoring not just her, but all the students in the program. I think what’s amazing is that like the students in STOKED, Miki, took a lot away from our programs and starting applying the life lessons from our STOKED circles to her life. So it was no surprise that Miki started running marathons. In 2011, she ran the LA Marathon on behalf of STOKED, raised a bunch of money for us and had to endure one of the most challenging experiences in her life. Although Miki, isn’t actively mentoring anymore, she continues to support STOKED as one of our Board of Stokers in Los Angeles and is a STOKED Igniter. We’re proud of you Miki and thank you for your 5 years of service to our mission.

 

Stoked Steve visits SoCal

Welcome Back Steve
A note from some Stokers.

How often do I visit our West Coast office? That’s a common question I get when people find out that STOKED has a Los Angeles office. The short answer is every 3 months. It used to be more frequent than that before I was married and had my son. The long answer is that I normally coincide my visits with an action sports industry event like the US Open of Surfing or the X Games, at least during the winter season to visit Snow Summit, or right before the holidays to meet with donors, supporters, and volunteers. The Los Angeles office has been going through some transition in the past few months so I was due for a visit. Also, I was asked to speak at a conference on Authenticity at the ASC Action Sports + Culture Conference. As opposed to previous trips where I spent most of my time in LA, I stayed in Long Beach courtesy of Group Y who was able to donate a hotel room to me so I could network and connect with various supporters who were in town for the US Open of Surfing and the Agenda Show. Below are pictures of the various people I saw on my visit. It was so good to see long time supporters and meet new ones.

Me unveiling my theory of change on the opportunity gap at the Action Sports + Culture Conference
Me unveiling my theory of change on the opportunity gap at the Action Sports + Culture Conference

 

STOKED Award winner Joy Bryant and her husband. She's been a supporter for 7 years!
STOKED Award winner Joy Bryant and her husband Dave. She’s been a supporter for 7 years.

 

Kat & Stance
Dinner with Stoked Kat & Advisory Board member Constance.

 

Miki long time supporter and Board of Stoker LA
Miki a long time supporter, volunteer, and new Board of Stoker.

 

Vina founder of skateboard non profit Next Up Foundation. What a great human.
Vina founder of skateboard non profit Next Up Foundation. What a great human.

 

Me with X Games announcer and ESPN writer Alyssa Roenigk
Me with X Games announcer and ESPN writer Alyssa Roenigk

 

Jason Brown from Red Bull.
Jason Brown from Red Bull.

 

Danny Kass pro snowboarder
Danny Kass pro snowboarder

 

Incredible supporter and STOKED Igniter Mark Sperling from groupY
Incredible supporter and STOKED Igniter Mark Sperling from Group Y.

 

Jim Sparks from Salvation Army
Jim Sparks from Salvation Army

 

Caught up with the Bealeys. They used to live in Brooklyn but now live in CA. Dan is a Stoked Award winner.
Spent time with the Bealeys (Dan, Allison, and their son Rowan). They used to live in Brooklyn but now live in CA. Dan is a Stoked Award winner.

 

Spent time with the Drubners (Jonathan, Jennifer, and their son Ozzy). Jonathan is a Stoked Award Winner
Spent time with the Drubners (Jonathan, Jennifer, and their son Ozzy). Jonathan is a Stoked Award Winner.

 

Bye LA! Until next time.
Bye Los Angeles! Until next time.