JANUARY 12, 2021
VANS AND STOKED CELEBRATE TEN YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP WITH NEW COMMUNITY-FOCUSED INITIATIVES
Founded by entrepreneur Steve Larosiliere and action sports personality Selema Masekela, STOKED is a community-focused nonprofit that combines one-on-one mentorship with the joy (and adrenaline) of action sports to help underserved BIPOC youth realize their potential. Vans is a longtime supporter of STOKED’s message of inclusion and community-first methods, serving as a proud partner and supporter of the organization for over 10 years. In 2022, the Vans x STOKED partnership will expand even further.
Based in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, STOKED has worked with over 6,000 kids and 4,000 mentors since its founding, using action sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing as “safe spaces” for learning and personal growth. Kids who go through a STOKED program learn more than how to kickflip or catch a wave — they’re taught career skills, life lessons, and the importance of staying active as well.
The latest chapter in Vans’ partnership with STOKED aims to achieve two main goals: growing BIPOC participation and representation in action sports and providing STOKED participants with access, resources, and educational programming.
To achieve these goals, Vans is sponsoring skate activations at STOKED’s NYC and Chicago sites, supporting STOKED’s aftermath school leadership development programs and weekend skateboarding/snowboarding/surfing programs, and encouraging its employees to serve as STOKED mentors through a dynamic “Career Pipeline'' program that shows STOKED youth some of the career possibilities in the action sports world.
Almost 30 Vans employees have already signed on to the “Career Pipeline” program, and Vans athletes have lent their support to STOKED as well — pro snowboarder Patrick Moore is a lead STOKED ambassador who’s recruited other Vans Snow team members like Jill Perkins, Bryan Iguchi, and Hana Beaman, which helped STOKED raise an additional $100K through its yearly fundraising campaign in 2021. STOKED also supports Vans by leading DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts with Vans staff and the greater action sports industry through employee and athlete workshops.
To learn more about STOKED, head to stoked.org