The Seattle chapter director of Skate Like a Girl also teaches at the Mukilteo YMCA Skate Park.
What do you do? I am the Seattle chapter director of Skate Like a Girl [a grassroots organization empowering girls and women through the vehicle of skateboard-related programs] and work a few hours per week at the Mukilteo YMCA Skate Park as a skate instructor.
How did you get started? I started skateboarding when I was 12, but didn’t find Skate Like a Girl until I was 17, when they put together an event at Redmond, my “home” skate park. I was so inspired that day by what I saw, I started volunteering shortly thereafter. In the beginning, I was more or less an extra hand for clinics and events. However, as my skill set grew, the leaders of SLAG allowed me to take on more responsibility. In my early 20s, I organized cross-country skate tours, designed shirts and even started our annual girls skate competition, Wheels of Fortune, which just celebrated its fifth year.
What’s a typical day like? There are no typical days in my line of work! However, I do spend a lot of time either instructing large groups of people in the basics of pushing and cruising, or asking baristas, “What’s your WiFi password?” so I can catch up on emails while I sip coffee.
Sometimes I wake up in a tent because we’re out in the San Juan Islands hosting a skate camp, and other times I am sweating profusely because I’ve spent a few hours holding hands while new female skaters learn to “drop in” at All Together Skate Park.
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Put simply, I spend a lot of time on a skateboard, there are also no cubicles, and I am never staring at the clock.
What’s the best part of the job? Well, the tan I get in the summer is pretty awesome, and I get some epically cute thank you cards, but to be honest, it’s the connections I make with people. More specifically, I love watching someone build confidence and do things they never thought were possible. I am addicted to being around the positive energy of other humans!
What surprises people about your job? Many people are surprised that it actually is a job! Some are surprised at the diversity of people I teach how to skateboard, from the 6-year-old boys on my Grommets Skate Team, to the 40-something women at Ladies Night. Others are intrigued by the fact that I am a woman in the male-dominated field of skateboarding.