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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 help from a grant from Clear Creek Schools Foundation.
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This is the first year for the CCSF Innovation Grants. CCSF awarded more than $12,000 to teachers and students throughout the school districts to support projects that foster engaging and community connected experiences for students.
According to CCSF, “Educator grants support the development of the Clear Creek Learner Profile skills: leadership, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, adaptability, and character…. Student grants support ideas and passions and the development of Learner Profile skills.”
Laura Johnson with CCSF was excited to see applications for the inaugural year of the Innovation Grants program.
“We received applications that would affect kids of all ages,” she said.
Nine projects throughout Clear Creek School District ultimately received grant money. The projects involve teacher, student and district projects, with project ideas like flexible furniture seating for classrooms and a therapy dog for schools.
Johnson hopes that the program will help students gain the skills necessary to become valuable members of the Clear Creek community upon graduation.
“(The grant is) giving kids more choices and freedom to learn the things they’re interested in, and giving educators the ability to provide,” she said.
William Lewis, senior, and Braden Combrink, junior, of Clear Creek High School were recipients of this year’s grant. The two are working to launch their skateboarding brand, Urban Skate Co.
Lewis explained the concept of the brand is to make skate wear available to everyone. He hopes that some of the potential profit can go toward the skate park in Idaho Springs.
“(It's) cheaper clothing that is new and that our community can afford. And hopefully, some of that money can go toward the skate park,” Lewis said.
Lewis remembers his 5th birthday when his dad took him to get his first skateboard. He’s been hooked ever since.
Combrink has fond memories of starting the sport young as well.
“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 wardrobe staples for skaters. Lewis and Combrink want to join the skate wear ensemble, but at a more affordable price, and even create decks and other skate essentials later on.
Currently, the duo is working on learning about entrepreneurship, finding mentors in the community and creating a roadmap for the brand. They hope to start selling products in Summer 2023.
The young business partners are planning to do everything themselves at the beginning, so they can learn about production, screen printing etc. That’s where the grant money comes in.
“A big chunk of the grant money is going toward materials, our own screen printing machine,” Lewis said.
To follow along with the progress of Urban Skate Co., check out its Instagram @urbanskate_co.
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