Celebrating a Year of Closing the Opportunity Gap

STOKED students recently celebrated their year of STOKED at their school by participating at our year end showcase at the National Black Theater in Harlem. This was our biggest year thus far with over 10 schools going through the same curriculum and program experience. The end result is students displaying their skateboards that they built throughout the year. We also had a brand showcase- a group of students at various schools built skateboard companies from scratch. They designed the logos, the mission, vision, and values. The winning brand got to present their brand to executives at Google. This event is not simply a showcase of their work, it is a culmination of all the work that we do, and highlights what you as donors support in our effort to close the opportunity gap. The opportunity gap is in the news a lot these days. The opportunity gap places a focus on the disparity in income between low income and middle class youth. These inequities often lead to low graduation rates, unemployment, and youth not living up to their full potential. STOKED looks to solve this very important problem by working with the whole student for multiple years of school. We tackle everything from providing enrichment afterschool and on the weekends, surrounding each student with a community of role models, and teaching them skills like collaboration, communication, and professional skills that they can put on their resume.

During the school year, students spent over 700 hours building skateboards, learning about various careers, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, and doing projects like building skateboard and skateboard companies. We like to joke that STOKED provides low income students with an upper middle class upbringing outside of the classroom at a fraction of the price. Students get to meet with successful professionals for coffee. They get summer camp type programs, adventures, internships, and make a ton of friends. We provide everything that they need to succeed outside of the classroom. This year, we have our largest group of students graduating: 21! We're thrilled that next year, we're going to add more quality programming for our students to grow professionally.