Coach Profile: Dustin in LA

LA Coach Profile We chatted with our LA coaches recently to see how they got involved with STOKED, mentoring and action sports.  First up is Coach Dustin who was a mentor in NYC before joining us as a coach in LA!

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Coach: Dustin V.

Coaches: Year 1 & Year 2

Sports: Skate, Surf, Snow

What do you love most about action sports and the industry?

For the most part, action sports can be performed independently. That's what I love most about them. It's this concept of learning about yourself through a sport independently, then joining a larger community to continue to develop your unique experiences, style, and voice. With traditional team sports, this self discovery is reversed - meaning you may learn about yourself outwardly versus inwardly. I think this growth has more depth when it comes from within and action sports are unique in providing that independent platform from which to learn.   

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

It was a natural progression from the volunteer work I had done as a mentor in NYC. I've been familiar with the organization, its mission, and core values for a while. Since I was/am going through a professional transition period from leaving the advertising/marketing world, becoming a coach with STOKED came naturally. I am passionate about the organization, mentoring students, and skate/surf so it's definitely a no-brainer in that sense. 

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What are you most excited for/looking forward to this year as a coach?

Developing the student's curiosity for professional careers that align with their interests and will allow them to become financially self-sustained adults. Often times, young people are pressured into following paths that others have carved for them. I want to be able to find that perfect balance of encouraging them to pursue their own passion while guiding them towards professions with growing earning potential and job security.  

Who is your mentor and what is the best advice he or she has given to you?

I grew up without a mentor, and have recently come to terms with how that has impacted my life. For that reason, I am very much dedicated to being a mentor to others, because it is an unnecessary burden in life to have to figure things out on your own as a young adult. We need each other and we need each other's help. With that being said, I do get a lot of sound advice these days from stoic philosophy mainly through understanding that there is nothing new under the sun. This means that that if someone in history has achieved greatness in the face of adversity, then that same success can and is bound to be repeated. That person can be yourself if you decide you want it to be.

To learn more about STOKED, click here.