Valedictorian and Salutatorian College Graduates Come from STOKED

The other day, I'm looking in my Facebook feed and I see this picture below of two STOKED alumni!

This is a picture of Destiny and Vincent. I couldn't believe it. The valedictorian, Destiny, and Salutatorian, Vincent, of Paul Quinn College this year are STOKED kids?!?

I met them back in 2011 when STOKED expanded to City Polytechnic High School in Brooklyn. The principal at the time wanted to bring a different type of program to the school - one that was a safe space, taught life skills, and got kids to use their hands outside of the school day.

STOKED was that program. We brought the skateboard building program to that school and it was a hit! We were with them from the 2nd year of the program all the way until their first graduating class. 

Vincent was into skate and snow.  He recently told me that he "learned about the power of teamwork through STOKED through building the skateboard. Also, I learned about paying it forward by teaching younger students how to skate." Vincent was also attracted to entrepreneurship and even created his own clothing line.  He graduated with a degree in Business Management from Paul Quinn.

Vincent skating back in 2011.

Vincent skating back in 2011.

Destiny, I got to know well, as she participated in our Deweezy program, a program that took 10 kids through the journey of creating a Mountain Dew commercial with Lil Wayne. She was on the team that created this commercial... and now she's been voted as one of the most influential college students in the Dallas/ Fort Worth Area, and also graduated with a degree in Business Management.

Both of these students were super special, as were all of the kids that we served at that school. The partnership with City Polytechnic High School ended in 2014 because they brought on a new principal who didn't see the value in our program... he only wanted academic programs. However, since our office is so close to the school, we still have kids come down to join us. We still serve their kids and alumna through our program. 

I'm glad the legacy of our school lives on through the kids and fearless leaders we served. We're super proud of Destiny and Vincent and will be there to support them with all their future endeavors. 

If you want to see the impact we had on their school, look at this video from when we honored their founding principal at our 2012 STOKED Awards: