Editor’s Note: On August 17, The Inertia’s EVOLVE Summit will celebrate individuals making positive contributions to surf and outdoor culture. President and Founder of STOKED, Steve Larosiliere has created a life-changing program that mentors underprivileged kids through access to action sports participation. But how does he leave an impact that lasts longer than a day on the beach or a weekend on the slopes? And what’s the true value of action sports for children living in low-income areas, foster homes, and struggling just to get to school? This is the question The Inertia’s Juan Hernandez posed to Steve about his work. He’ll be discussing the real value of skills learned in skateparks, in the ocean, and the outdoors in Los Angeles at EVOLVE next month. Tickets sold out quickly last year, so grab one before they’re gone. Enter SECONDWAVE at checkout to save $45 on early bird tickets.
According to The National Bureau of Economic Research, a child’s family income is now the greatest predictor of how successful that child will be as an adult. Children from low-income communities are less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to battle low self-esteem. On the flip side, a child with wealthy parents is more likely to graduate from college and pursue a fulfilling career. Riding a wave, building a skateboard, and gliding down a snowy mountain can show teens that they are capable of greatness. Individual sports force kids to address fear, dig deep, and conquer by trying. When they succeed the glory is internal, a feeling of self-accomplishment that instills resilience, confidence and excitement to keep tackling new challenges.