A lot can happen in six days. Wars can end. Wounds can heal. Swells can surge and fade. And people can change; which is pretty much the idea behind Stoked Mentoring's partnership with Nike 6.0 during their 6.0 Days of Stoked’ness Mentoring Campaign last week.
Based out of Los Angeles, Stoked Mentoring is a non-profit organization that brings action sports and positive role models to inner-city high school students. With a curriculum that revolves around life-lessons acquired through skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing, the organization made its way down to San Clemente for an authentic immersion into what it means to be a surfer.
"Typically we surf in Santa Monica," says Los Angeles Program Manager Phoebe Brauer while standing beside a group of children wandering through the wooden slabs of surf history at San Clemente's Surfing Heritage Foundation. "It's super crowded, and it's dirty. So I think this kind of opens the kid's eyes a little bit to really see the impact of surf culture in Southern California."
"More than that, it's about exploring themselves in new contexts with new people," says Brauer. "In action sports there are plenty of life skills needed: to fall and get back up and not being afraid of failure...and when you identify yourself as a surfer you can connect to this whole group of people that love the same thing."
In the course of six days, the kids did just that. From learning about photography with SURFER Photo Editors, to designing custom shoes with Nike 6.0 at the freshly renovated Motel No Tell, to learning about the sport's roots at the Surfing Heritage Museum, to, of course, surfing at San Onofre's Trails, the program attendees received a well-balanced education.
"We've had some pretty unique experiences," says fourteen-year-old Jurgen Oliva from downtown Los Angeles. "Stuff that I never knew I could do, because I had never surfed before. When I was out there I felt like I was in a tube of water. It was awesome. I've still got a couple years [in the four-year curriculum], but I'll definitely stick with this program."
Check out the following links to learn more about Stoked Mentoring and Nike 6.0's Six Days of Stoked'ness at the Motel No Tell.
The first wave: a feeling that will hook you for life. Photo: Kevin Voegtlin