Skateboarding youth defying negative stereotypes
in Sacramento County
A few weeks ago, the Project Lifelong skateboard division of the Sheriff’s Community Impact Program decided to participate in a local fundraising event.
The thirteen teenagers in our group voted to skate at a local park in the morning, prior to the event that would follow in the afternoon. After some very lively but productive debates, they decided to skate at Mather skate park in Rancho Cordova. The early morning session was one of the best of the new year thus far. It was filled with the landing of new tricks and team camaraderie.
The team skated for hours and worked up quite an appetite. They were all very excited to enjoy a free meal thanks to Josh Paul and the Chik-fil-A on Alta Arden. One by one, the group received their chicken sandwiches and nuggets as they sat outside in the crisp late winter weather. And then, another powerful moment within our group happened…
A young lady, who must have been no more than eight years of age, worked up the courage to approach our big group of teenagers to sell candy bars for her cause. As her parents watched from inside the restaurant, she recited her well-practiced sales pitch with a somewhat shaky voice. Without hesitation, many of our teenagers in Project Lifelong were reaching into their wallets to help her cause. Some even sprinted back to the rotary van to recover their wallets and returned with dollar bills.
| “…an unspoken sense of ownership of kindness moved through them.” |
Project Lifelong rider Jordyn, age 14, stood out as a natural leader for his team. He met the young lady with smiles and a collection of dollar bills from his peers. As the team watched, an unspoken sense of ownership of kindness moved through them. Though it has been less than a year since the skate group formed last summer, the giving nature and selflessness of strong adult leaders has already begun to emerge. For many of the team members, giving has become second nature as they value the community that has made their road-trip endeavors possible. And as they put it, it is very simple – “It’s our turn to support a cause, just like everyone else has.” The pride they felt at lunch that day… was transcendent.