Mentee Spotlight: Makan Ceesay, Bronxite of New York City, 15 years-old

Stoked is important to me not only because of the exciting activities we participate in but because of the fact that it prepares us for the real world after high school.

I’ve never had an experience where I can have fun and make important connections. As part of the Year 3 program, students must attend trips to companies that relate to areas of work they’re interested in. In the first trip, we went to an agency that made apps for businesses. I was immediately drawn in because my dream job is to become a software engineer. We met some engineers who told us about the experiences and the skill sets needed for the field of work. I came back home with valuable information and started a more detailed plan on how to achieve my goals. Stoked has not only connected me with companies but with others teens who have the same drive and attitude as me.

Stoked is centered around action sports, so through them I was introduced to snowboarding and surfing. My most meaningful experience in Stoked has been the brand presentation. Me and some other students I’ve never known before built a brand from scratch. The feeling of presenting something me and my peers made, to editors and executives at companies like Google and Vogue, gave me a sense of accomplishment. At that point, I realized that I can reach new heights with a strong work ethic and the necessary tools.

Something unique about me is that I’m a very competitive fencer.