Robert in LA | STOKED Alumni and Aspiring Law Enforcement Officer
Photo by Katie Ferraro | Words by Kyle Samuelson
STOKED can be many different things for the students that join and for Robert it was a place where he felt safe. Robert was in STOKED for his junior and senior years of high school and he found it to be a place where he could fit in and be himself in an otherwise tumultuous world.
“I never thought I would join a community or club, I was always shy and could never get into sports or anything that involved being with a team. I learned a lot of new skills and values that I cherish with me and now I have the chance explore them outside of STOKED.”
Robert is currently enrolled in Santa Monica College where he is finishing up his second year of required classes to transfer to University of California San Diego where he will study criminal justice. He can trace his college aspirations back to his time in STOKED.
“STOKED was always supportive and helpful with tips and insights into careers and how college plays a role into it. The main preparation I got from most of the coaches was to follow something that inspired me and to keep going just like with the sports I was doing in STOKED.”
Robert has now come full circle and has been working as an alumni mentor on surf and snow trips. He knows how valuable the feeling of safety was for him in STOKED and it has guided him on his career path.
“I want to do criminal justice and become a police detective and provide a safer community. Being with STOKED, I felt it was my duty as an alumni to provide a positive influence for students and protect them or help in any way. Since I could play a role like that in STOKED, I wanted to do something similar in my career. I wanted to help and just be the best part of me I can.”
Kyle Samuelson has been part of the STOKED community since 2014. Kyle started out as a coach in New York and recently relocated to Los Angeles to act as Senior Program Manager.