What inspires you to give back?
Simply as it is: the people. The people I meet along the way are what make every event, encounter, interaction, and connection so valuable to me. What I’ve learned through service and giving back is that everyone has a story. Being that person who is willing to hear it and understand its importance will open up worlds of real connection. The people I meet inspire me to continue giving back because there’s so much more to the surface level of exchange. It’s about showing people that they deserve to be valued, appreciated, understood, and loved. Giving back is about bridging those divides and creating a focus on community and empowerment for the people.
What advice would you give someone looking to help their community but doesn’t know where to start?
Get a backpack and go. It’s very simple, really. You just have to go out into your community and make a mission to learn what is needed. There’s always something you can do to help, you just have to be courageous enough to ask. Whether it’s your old middle school, your local library, or the animal shelter down the street, there will be opportunities if you seek it out. Plus, let the digital age be your friend! A simple google search of volunteer opportunities with your city’s name can do you wonders. Recognize what tug on your heartstrings when you think about your community and hone onto that. Is it the ridiculous amount of homeless people on the streets? Or the eagerness of dogs in shelters who just want a walk? Or the kiddos who are excited to learn? Whatever that thing is, grab your backpack and go.
What about Skate for Change do you love and inspires you to be a part of it?
How easy it is to be a part of it. That’s what I love the most about Skate for Change. When people think about changing the world, they imagine this huge grand project, and sometimes that’s intimidating. We so often allow ourselves to drown in excuses to not go out and help, but Skate for Change shows people how easy it is to make a difference. And seeing all kinds of people come together for one common goal of helping the community inspires me to continue being a part of it. Anyone can do it. You can get a backpack, get some socks, and go help your community. Come on, let’s go!