By Michelle Thai, Marketing Intern
It’s no secret, GlobalMojo is a big fan of Football For Good, a campaign created by the DNA Foundation and Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation. We thought it would be interesting to see other ways that sports were being used to make different. So, we searched far and wide in our database , and one that stood out was a tiny nonprofit called Stoked.
Stoked Mentoring was founded in 2005 by Steve Larosiliere and Sal Masekela on the belief that the courage and perseverance needed to learn action sports— like snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing—would be an ideal way to teach life skills to underprivileged youth.
“Over 5 years ago, I was a mentor to a youth in foster care,” said Steve. “On a snowboarding trip to Whistler, I thought: wouldn’t it be great if I took him snowboarding with me so he can see the mountains so we can experience the thrill of snowboarding together? I knew then that I should start a snowboard mentoring program.”
Stoked not only has a mentoring program, but two other sports-based programs as well. Their action sports-based mentoring, service learning, and after-school programs all strive to empower youth in their personal development, academic achievement, and positive relationships.
In communities that saw more drugs and pregnancies than mentors, positive role models, and worthwhile after-school activities, Stoked gave its teens an exciting opportunity to enjoy nontraditional sports while helping them succeed, personally and academically.
When I was in high school in East Side San Jose, I wish Stoked served my community—where cops patrolled the campus on golf carts, the smell of marijuana was heavy in the restrooms, and it wasn’t surprising when one of my peers dropped out. With Stoked, the youth of the Rampart District of Los Angeles and ten high schools in New York City are given the opportunity to overcome similar at-risk situations.