Tag Archives: Stoked Mentoring

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.

Coach Profile: Daniel in LA

Coach Profile: Daniel 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, read about Coach Daniel whose love of skating brought him to STOKED.

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Coach: Daniel

Coaches: Year 1 

Sports: Skate, Surf, Snow

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

Being from Los Angeles which is known for having a huge background in skateboarding, I was always surrounded by it. I love how free I feel while I ride my skateboard and I also love how skateboarding can give you a sense of identity and help you make friends for a lifetime.

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

I chose to be a STOKED coach because teaching the kids how to skateboard has always been something I’ve wanted to do for years. When I saw the opportunity to finally do it I hopped on it because to me it’s a dream job.

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

I am really looking forward to interacting with the kids and teaching them that they can achieve anything they want in life if they give it 110%.

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

My mentor’s name is Javier Lopez. He is the owner of 3043 Boardshop which is the local skate shop in the city of South Gate and also owns Sensitive Skateboards. He’s heavily impacted and grown the skateboarding scene in the south east Los Angeles area. Growing up I’d look up to his company and his riders and dreamed to be a part of if somehow. Over time Javier had taken notice of me and began hooking me up with skateboards or anything I needed to keep me rolling. He’s heavily impacted my life in only positive ways and has taught me many life lessons and skills. To this very day he is my mentor and helps me forward in skateboarding and in my life and I just want to pass on what he’s taught me. 

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For more information on STOKED, click here.

 

STOKED x MOUNTAIN DEW Summer 2016

STOKED x MOUNTAIN DEW Summer 2016

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.

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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 at House Of Vans

STOKED at House Of Vans

Words by Kyle Samuelson

This Spring, STOKED was lucky enough to partner with the House of Vans in Brooklyn to offer our STOKERS an extremely privileged opportunity to skate this amazing indoor park all by ourselves. Vans was kind enough to line up four different dates throughout our STOKED Skateboard season for our kids to tackle this world class park. We felt so lucky to skate the same street obstacles and transition lines as we have seen Vans pros skating in videos and magazines. And with all the pizza and water we needed to keep us fueled, the days were some of the most special STOKED Skateboarding days I have been apart of.

I have a distinct memory of surveying the park; with all of it’s rad art on the walls, the sun shining outside the garage door, kids dropping in on the mini ramp for the first time, coaches cheering wildly as a student nose manny’ed the entire ledge, program manager Romney DJ’ing up on the catwalk, friends taking a breather on the bench to my left, and a new volunteer just smiling ear to ear to my right. “This is dope”, was all he could muster. “Yea man, this is dope”, was all I could respond.

There was something about seeing all of STOKERS riding with such confidence around this hallowed skatepark that really made me realized how special this program is, and in particular, how special our kids are. We are inspiring fearless leaders, and it’s a privilege for me and the rest of our staff and volunteers, to see how exactly that looks. In this case, it looked like a student skating around to pick up empty water bottles and throw them into the recycling bin. It looked like a student so determined to dropping in that after a few falls, her smile served as physical proof of her determination. It looked like every one of our students approaching our hosts Frank and Nick to shake hands and give a sincere thank you. It looked like many things this Skate season, but there was something about seeing it in this space that really illuminated it for me.

We are so lucky to be able to partner with such amazing organizations that offer time, space, money, food, anything to help us create fearless leaders. Vans are fearless leaders themselves and we are so honored to be able to help cultivate more leaders literally under the banner that reads “Off the Wall”.

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To help us continue to provide opportunities like these to our youth, sign up to be a STOKED Igniter, and sponsor one of our youth!  Join now at stokedigniters.com.