Celebrating Their 10-Year Partnership, Vans and STOKED Commit to Expansion
Working together over the last 10 years, action-sports brand Vans and nonprofit organization STOKED have renewed their commitment to leading underserved youth into action sports through mentorship. Through its locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, STOKED has worked with more than 6,000 kids with the assistance of 4,000 mentors since its founding in 2005 by Steve Larosiliere and Selema Masekela.
The foundation established by this partnership has afforded to kids the opportunities to enrich their lives through action sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing, but also acquire knowledge regarding career skills, life lessons and the importance of staying active. Moving forward Vans and STOKED are focusing their partnership on the development of two goals—expanding BIPOC action-sports representation and participation, and affording access, resources and educational programming to kids who participate in the program.
Through its commitment to the partnership, Vans is sponsoring skate activations at STOKED's NYC and Chicago sites, supporting STOKED's after-school leadership-development programs and weekend programs in skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing. The brand is also promoting the programs through encouraging employees to become STOKED mentors, as it develops its Career Pipeline program. This initiative outlines action-sports career opportunities, thereby creating a bridge for young action-sports enthusiasts, which can take them from hobbyist to professional within the industry.
In addition to its employees, Vans has also received support from its athletes such as professional snowboarder Patrick Moore, who is also a lead STOKED ambassador. Moore has recruited Vans Snow team members Jill Perkins, Bryan Iguchi and Hana Beaman to work with STOKED to expand its mission. In 2021, the team of professional athletes helped STOKED raise an additional $100,000 during its annual fundraising campaign. Helping Vans strengthen its commitment to inclusivity, STOKED has led diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the action-sports brand among its staff and the industry through employee and athlete workshops.