Spent the week in California to visit with family and meet some awesome people from skate organizations doing incredible work! Also got a chance to bring Kalen, our longest-running youth volunteer.
Our first stop was Santa Ana to get settled, then a trip to Anaheim to visit Vina Tinoco, the founder of Next Up Foundation. Super inspiring to see all the awesome work they're doing with youth, and the variety of educational programs they offer. There's a yoga studio, computer lab, art room, library.. and oh yeah, a skatepark! The following day, Vina took us to a bunch of local spots, including the Vans outdoor park in Huntington Beach!
Then Kalen and I headed to Encinitas to meet our friends the Kelsays, the family behind Skate Rising, a girls skateboard group that empowers young ladies to serve those in need and develop confidence through skateboarding. Impact and Skate Rising have had a long-distance partnership with our joint event back in July, but this was our first real-life meeting.
I was humbled to be asked to speak at their event over the weekend along with the mayor of Encinitas, talking to the girls about setting a vision and taking the steps to make it happen. However, even more humbling was how the Kelsays treated us like family right from the start: hosting us in their home (which happens to have a sick backyard bowl!), showing us around Encinitas, and even taking us surfing—a first for both Kalen and myself!
The rest of the time was spent checking out parks, street spots, and enjoying the sunshine. Kalen and I both want to express our gratitude for our hosts, and all the rad people we met and skated with! It was a blast!