Skateboarding fashion has evolved over the years, and two local teens are working to make popular styles accessible to skaters of all income levels with the help of a grant from the Clear Creek Schools Foundation.
This is the first year of the CCSF Innovation Grants. CCSF has awarded more than $12,000 to teachers and students across all school districts to support projects that foster engaging, community-based experiences for students.
According to the CCSF, “Educator grants support the development of the Clear Creek Learner Profile competencies: Leadership, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Adaptability, and Character…. Student grants support ideas and passions and the development of learner profile skills. »
CCSF’s Laura Johnson was thrilled to see the applications for the inaugural year of the Innovation Grants program.
“We have received requests that would affect children of all ages,” she said.
Nine projects in the Clear Creek School District have finally received a grant. Projects involve teacher, student, and district projects, with project ideas like flexible furniture seating for classrooms and a therapy dog for schools.
Johnson hopes the program will help students develop the skills necessary to become valued members of the Clear Creek community upon graduation.
“(The grant) gives children more choice and freedom to learn the things that interest them, and gives educators the ability to provide,” she said.
William Lewis, senior, and Braden Combrink, junior, of Clear Creek High School were this year’s grant recipients. The two are working to launch their skateboard brand, Urban Skate Co.
Lewis explained that the concept of the brand is to make skate clothing accessible to everyone. He hopes some of the potential proceeds can be donated to the Idaho Springs skate park.
“(These are) cheaper clothes that are new and that our community can afford. And hopefully some of that money can go to the skate park,” Lewis said.
Lewis remembers his 5th birthday when his dad took him to get his first skateboard. He’s been addicted ever since.
Combrink also has fond memories of starting the sport young.
“I started skating when I was maybe 10. It’s really cool because of the community and all the styles,” he said.
Right now, skate fashion is all about baggy clothes and name brands. Brands like Supreme, Thrasher, and Vans are staples in skateboarders’ wardrobes. Lewis and Combrink want to join the mainstream of skate apparel, but at a more affordable price, and even create decks and other skate essentials later on.
Currently, the duo are working on learning about entrepreneurship, finding mentors in the community, and creating a roadmap for the brand. They hope to start selling products in the summer of 2023.
The young business partners plan to do everything themselves at first, so that they can learn production, screen printing, etc. This is where the grant money comes in.
“A lot of the grant money is spent on materials, our own screen printing machine,” Lewis said.
To follow Urban Skate Co.’s progress, check out their Instagram account @urbanskate_co.