Friday, August 14, 2015

Straight Outta Compton: The 686 Compton Snow Club is making a difference
By Snowboard Magazine

Compton doesn’t have the best reputation. For many of the kids that live there, it’s all they know and all they ever will know. Broken homes, drugs, violence, bad influences. The guys at 686 decided to make a difference in their neighborhood, partnering with the Boys & Girls Club to create the Compton Snow Club, which provides an outlet for at-risk youth to get outside and get an opportunity to experience something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to: snowboarding. With a portion of proceeds going directly to the area’s Boys & Girls Club, 686 is helping expose these kids to positive things in their lives. Read the accounts from 686 Team Rider Forest Bailey and Team Manager Patrick McCarthy about their experience with the Compton Snow Club — Jens Heig, Online Editor

“Last winter I headed down to California to hang out with 686 and Matix and be a part of the Compton Snow Club. It was one of the best days of my winter. It was so cool to take a bunch of fresh minds up to the mountain and get them stoked on snowboarding; something that’s brought me joy almost my entire life. There are a ton of bright young minds involved in the program, smart kids, some of which took right to boarding, and some that are more interested in creating, or photography. To see them all get stoked on snowboarding was fun, and realistically it’s just fun for them to get out of the city and into the mountains for one day. Some had never had that opportunity before, that’s a reality check. We are so lucky to be able to experience what we do as snowboarders. In my mind, it’s all about hoping the kids get inspired and learn that anything is possible and that there are a million different ways to live your life. I can’t wait for the next time i get to go down and hang with those kids again. I also hope to be able to continue spreading the idea of snowboarding to fresh minds in other areas through and extended version of the Compton Snow Club.”

“The Compton Snow Club was born to answer a simple question, ‘How can we give back to our local Compton neighborhood and expose the youth to the things that seemingly saved our lives – snowboarding, skateboarding and art?’
It started with a simple trip to the local Boys & Girls Club with Forest Bailey and myself. We took the kids skateboarding, did some artwork with them, showed them a few snowboard video parts and explained what we are all about. Their reactions to our interaction were inspiring. Seeing the kids lighting up with excitement during the day gave us a new vitality. I remember personally leaving from the first day with the kids thinking that was the most rewarding thing that I had done that year. At the end of that first session, I picked out my favorite kid and handed him my skateboard. It was a liberating feeling and I think everyone at 686 wanted to figure out more ways to give back.
Putting is simply, these kids are not from a good place – the streets of Compton are not a joke. Gang activity, social pressures and the absence of a lot of the standards many of us grew up with or have become accustomed to putting these youth at risk from day 1. Even though they live in this big beautiful city of L.A., most of these kids barely know life outside of a few local blocks that are filled with social traps carrying lifelong consequences. If we can expose them to things outside of their everyday life on the streets, and dreams of being a big shot rapper or basketball player (which in many cases eventually leaves them empty and still exposed to local social pressures at a young age) like snow and nature, we can possibly open their eyes to a world outside their ‘hood. Together we can help them think bigger and find their “way out.”
Take some time to give back if you can — that is what Compton Snow Club is all about. We have coach’s jackets, hoodies, shirts and hats available in our site and everything made from the sales of the product goes directly to help the boys and girls clubs of Compton, California. By working with the club weekly and taking them snowboarding when possible, I hope we can help at least one kid better themselves and those around them. If even just that happens, snowboarding has saved another life. For that, I am grateful.”

No comments: