Interview with STOKED Mentor Rian Wilkinson


Interview by Katie Ferraro



New York


Action Sports



When did you first learn to snowboard? What was that experience like for you?

I first started skiing at an early age. When snowboarding started to become popular in the late 80's early 90's, I switched over to snowboarding. I was already skateboarding a lot and the vibe of snowboarding matched the vibe of skateboarding.

Tell me about your snowboarding trip. How long have you been a STOKED Mentor? What has been the most fulfilling part?

The trip this past month was fantastic.  Organized and well-planned.  The students were working on the slopes in very little time.  The lessons were a huge help.  All the equipment was well maintained and organized.  

Since STOKED started at Bronx Lab (BLS) I have been pushing kids to get involved and have skated from time to time with them in the cafeteria.  The most fulfilling part is to see kids work with a new concept out of their comfort zone as well as to see them master difficult tricks.

What do you love most about snowboarding?

The freedom of flying down the mountain and the scenery.

Why is teaching snowboarding to STOKED students important to you?

It provides students from a specific demographic the opportunity to experience an up-state, out of the city, nature / sports trip.  A majority of the Bronx students never have been up state and none of them had ever thought of going to a ski resort to learn to snowboard if it wasn't for STOKED.  Also, the program provides a community that some of our students really need and it has had a direct effect / affect on their grades and school attendance since being in the program.

What do you hope students learn from snowboarding?

persistence and perseverance and patience