Change your mindset, change your life.” This woman uses skateboards for change


It’s easy to dismiss skateboarding as a mindless pursuit. But skaters often turn out to be thoughtful, creative and gifted in ways that go far beyond halfpipes and rails. Recognising this, Alison Harris, art director and founder of Sk8 for Gr8, has created a space where children with creative talents can express themselves.

The social enterprise identifies artistic children from previously disadvantaged communities and pairs them with professional designers for month-long workshops. The children create and design their own skateboards, working on every step of the process. After the final product is made, the pieces are sold, with the profits used to fund future workshops. After the first workshop, the kids were given an opportunity to enter into a 3-month leadership and entrepreneurship course.

The model is a sustainable way to teach children that the creative path is a viable career. Children have a creative fearlessness that age and mockery can crush and destroy. If Harris has her way, the kids who go through Sk8 for Gr8 will learn that expressing themselves can be a way to make it in the world.