STOKED Founder Named "Modern Man" By Black Enterprise Magazine


Photograph by Keith E. Morrison

Keith-Morrison-Photo-Credit-e1501006774237-660x400 (1).jpg



What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”

In 2004 I found myself at a crossroads in my life and career. I was on the top of a mountain in Whistler, British Columbia, wanting to make an impact on the world. I’d been running a boutique marketing firm and had always carried a passion for mentoring outside of my regular business hours. It was on my last run of the last day, and while taking in that breathtaking, adrenaline pumping view, I thought of my 17-year-old mentee. I thought about how great it would be to have him there, snowboarding on the mountain. The thought, coupled with the fact that my mentee had never left the island of Manhattan, experienced the view and feeling of being on top of a mountain, nor had he ever put his feet on a snowboard, initiated the idea for STOKED. With that in mind, STOKED was created to pull kids out of their daily environment and offer the ability to think of themselves in a broader context of the world. Today, STOKED has an ever-expanding community of doers, making change and leading the charge throughout their respective industries in three cities (L.A., New York, and now Chicago).

Since 2005, we’ve served over 4,000 youth, working to close the opportunity gap. Through action sports culture and mentorship, we prepare disadvantaged youth for what’s ahead.

What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?

Being acknowledged for the lifestyle choices that I’ve made is humbling. I believe in being a person about community, finding passion and purpose in my work, being a father and role model to my kids and those in my community. I’m honored that by staying true to those beliefs, I’ve become the recipient of this incredible award.

You can read the rest of the interview here

blog post, PressValete Graham