Mentorship Through Skateboarding

At age 10, Alejandro Musa moved to Florida with his family from Argentina. The cultural differences and the language barrier posed a great challenge. “I felt out of place,” Musa said. The local skate park was the only place he felt at home. “They didn’t care if I didn’t speak English,” Musa said. “As an immigrant, skateboarding gave me a sense of belonging.” Musa, 26, now lives in Orlando where he mentors at-risk youth through skateboarding.

The Getaboard Foundation was created by Drew Campbell in 2003. Most of the kids in the Getaboard program are homeless. Musa says it’s common for them to experience feelings of displacement. “They seem very shy, or distant, or they’re afraid to get on the skateboard,” said Musa. “Over time skateboarding gives you a lot of self-confidence. You’re always learning new tricks, always growing.”

Once you become really comfortable with that skateboard, opportunities become endless.

That self-confidence is essential to empower these kids to change their lives for the better. “Whenever you see a skater do a trick, it’s been done before,” Musa said. Yet for skateboarders, what really matters is how you add your own style to that trick. For the kids that continue to skateboard, that style will transcend into other areas of their lives. “Once you become really comfortable with that skateboard, opportunities become endless,” Musa said.