“Although Anaheim is the oldest city in Orange County, it is home to the county’s highest population of youth under the age of 18, 21 percent of whom live below the Federal Poverty Level. With high risks of gang involvement, substance abuse and school dropout, too many Anaheim youth are hard-pressed to find a sense of hope for their futures.” (March 2016 Newsletter, Connect OC).
The NEXT UP FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization offering a “cool” alternative to traditional after-school programs–one that appeals to many hard-to-reach kids.
We believe that some life lessons can be learned best on a skateboard. Our foundation contributes to its local community by being a positive mentoring force in the lives of young people and offers them a unique and active support system.
WHAT WE DO:
Operate twice-weekly after-school skateboarding sessions at the local skate park under guidance of volunteer mentors (and, occasionally, pro skaters)
Take participants on field trips to action sports companies and provide opportunities for participants to meet and skate with pro skaters
Teach the value of positive character traits such as resilience, self-discipline, integrity, and communication
Encourage healthy lifestyles and resistance to peer pressure
Support educational growth by providing academic resources and offering tutoring and college preparation assistance
Inspire career goals by offering workshops taught by both industry and academic professionals
Supply equipment, shoes, and clothing to participants as needed
Provide a supportive social community for kids and teens
The objective of Next Up Foundation is to demonstrate through skateboarding that, as in life, setting specific, attainable goals and approaching them with determination and optimism allows us to build confidence, overcome obstacles, and exceed our own expectations.
Watch a short introduction to Next Up Foundation.
HOW WE HELP THE COMMUNITY:
We appeal to youth who may not be reached by traditional after-school programs.
The mentoring takes place after school when at-risk youth are most vulnerable to social and environmental challenges.
Skateboarding is a “cool,” fun activity that appeals to boys and girls of all ages and demographics.
Boarding does not require membership in a team, but still provides our kids (mostly low-income) with a safe, healthy, and supportive community to help them overcome social and environmental barriers.
Skateboarding bridges cultural divides by bringing together kids from different races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels.
We mentor problem-solving skills, leadership, and community engagement.
With our new building, workshops are planned to target education and career opportunities.
Our CHANGE program encourages health, self-control, improved communication, and goal setting.