Community Service: The Easiest Way to Mentor Kids, Own Your City, and Feel Good Without Breaking Your Leg

Want a super easy way to feel good, accomplished and have that sense of ownership over your city?

Do community service.  

In the past, community service was something people got in lieu of serving jail time. I find that funny, because in our world, community service isn't a punishment, it's a pleasure and so much fun.

A lot of people ask, "Well, what if I don't snowboard, skateboard, or surf... how can I get involved?" Well, you can beautify your community right?

Years ago, in between the skateboarding season, kids would beg for more programming. They wanted to spend so much time with us. In thinking about what we could do, I had a flash of thought of cleaning up parks, gardening, painting murals, and even kids helping other kids.

I was inspired by the Boost Mobile Rock Corps Program years ago which rewarded kids with a free concert ticket for 4 hours of community service. 

We called our program Stoked to Serve. We even worked with brands like Vans and Quiksilver to sponsor summer-long community service projects. We've done thousands of hours of park & beach clean ups, gardening projects at domestic violence shelters, made meals for the homeless, painted murals, and even held a field day at an elementary school. 

The plus side is that our students get school credit for community service that they can apply to graduation, communities and partners. 

This past Earth Day, STOKED held Stoked to Serve projects in both NYC and Los Angeles. In New York, we beautified one of our partner schools, Brooklyn Free School. They're in an old brownstone in Brooklyn. The students, in partnership with our friends at The Bucketboard painted, gardened, and spruced up the old school.  In Los Angeles, students cleaned up a stretch of mile along the Los Angeles River with our partners FOLAR.

So who helps the students with their service projects? You! You help them. You don't have to know how to snowboard, skateboard, or surf. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to be articulate, good looking, super rich or successful. You just have to show up. Be present and stoked to be there. 

Stoked to Serve is the gateway program into STOKED. Haven't been around teenagers in a long time? This is the program for you. Want to do something more than shop and brunch on the weekends? This is for you.