Skateboarding. Is. Not. Easy.
But if we work hard, stay focused, face our fears, work together, stay positive, stay resilient, and believe in ourselves... we can do it!
I've been a part of Skate Like a Girl for 10 years because teaching skateboarding is about more than just learning to ollie. It's about claiming space and learning to pick yourself up when you've been knocked down. It's about making friends that build you up and share in your victories as well as your struggles. It's about building an intergenerational community of leaders that understands that skateboarding is a powerful vehicle for change.
Cheesy, but true. I know this because I've seen it time and time again within myself and my peers. The confidence we find by skateboarding spills over into all other aspects of our lives, making us stronger people in the face of adversity. I feel like all of us are going to need a lot of that over the next four years.
While it's nice to reflect on how far we've come as individuals, as an organization, as a community, as a city, I can't help but think about how hard we have to push to achieve true equity in the workplace, the classroom, and, of course, the skate park. Let's keep rolling.
Review from #MyGivingStory
I tell everyone about this group. These people really care about skateboarding because skateboarding will make you a stronger person. They are well organized and have a good reputation. When I am too busy to do skateboarding lessons, I send people here.
Review from Guidestar
I'm a skate park advocate, mom and skateboarder. I have always felt that if you build skateparks, more girls will come out to skateboard. I have realized that it is equally important to have great programming in order to have a successful park. Skate Like a Girl empowers girls of all ages and gives them confidence. How cool is that? Skate Like a Girl is also the most generous organization that I have worked with! They are quick to offer custom workshops in neighborhoods with little access to skateparks, affordable clinics and all the equipment that a girl would need. They are totally inclusive too. My only dream is that they could had more financial support to make sure that no girl/woman/person is ever turned away because there aren't enough teachers!
I'm a former skater who wanted to get back into the sport, and get my family involved. SLAG had a Mothers' Day clinic for beginners at a local skatepark. The SLAG volunteers ran a great clinic that got my wife riding a ramp her third time on a skateboard, taught my daughter and son some key basics, and helped me to regain a few skills. The teaching was professional, supportive, and great for beginners. I appreciated their inclusiveness; we were one girl, one former girl, and two never-girls, but we all felt welcomed.
Upon the first contact with Jessie Huangs (the PDX organizer for SLAG), she was brimming with positive energy and a true love for what she does. This organization is so inclusive and welcoming to anyone and everyone that it is truly a wonderful experience to be part of it and you can see that in the girls and women that they serve. Seeing a 5 year-old girl with a sparkly shirt and pigtails skating amidst all ages up to and I'm sure beyond, a 45 year-old woman, was truly empowering, and exciting in a time where girls do not have many positive role models and our culture suffers from a true lack of community. What I like most about this organization is that it does not throw people into categories and has a free-flow feel to it which makes it's effect that much greater as not only are young girls learning to skate and gathering the self-esteem from that, but they are interacting with women of all ages all learning and sharing together. As soemone who has served on many non-profit boards and worked in California group homes, I think the structure and energy and mindset of Skate Like a Girl is extremely powerful and effective at building community, self-esteem and providing positive role models for women.
Have tons of fun with Skate Like a Girl meeting new people, and working with them to build a safe and inclusive skateboarding community for girls and women to build confidence and take on leadership roles.