The Inertia has always been big on seeking out stories of people using their love for the outdoors as a driving force to do good. Paying it forward is something we’re fans of. But while the idea of “sharing the stoke” is easy to talk about, we also understand how easily it can be overshadowed by an individual’s daily pursuits of enjoying what they love for their own quick escape; a morning surf before work, a day trip to make some turns in fresh snow, a weekend camping road trip, and the list goes on.
Having models in the community who show us just how much can be accomplished through this whole act of serving others is pretty invaluable, and the 2019 EVOLVE Summit’s Surf and Outdoors as a Source for Good panelists are about as exemplary of all this as you’d find.
Life Rolls On founder and adaptive surfing world champion Jesse Billauer and Stoked Mentoring Founder Steve Larosiliere discussed their respective journeys building world-class non-profits with Changing Tides Foundation co-founder Becky Mendoza in the afternoon’s opening panel presented by Kindhumans. Billauer highlighted the importance of his Life Rolls On Foundation in getting all people with movement challenges in the water while Larosiliere talked about Stoked Mentoring’s role in providing underprivileged kids with opportunities in boardsports.
“The fundamental premise is this: you fall down, you get back up,” said Larosiliere. “The more you fall down, the more you learn not to fall down. And that’s success. You get some wins, you build on top of that. Right after that, you want to go faster, you want to go higher, The higher and faster you go, the more places you want to go to experience that. What’s that called? That’s called life…That’s the foundation of STOKED.”
“It builds community. It builds confidence. It builds self-esteem. Relationships, friendships,” said Jesse Billauer of his work with Life Rolls On. “What’s better than seeing a little kid go back to his school, and they’re like, ‘Hey, what’d you do?’ And he’s like, ‘I went surfing. I went skateboarding,’ and they become the superstars of their schools?”