Youth members from vulnerable communities will soon be receiving skateboards curated and built by system impacted individuals, including those in prisons.
The main partner here, Fresno Skateboard Salvage, is a nonprofit organization that Skateboarder Rodney Rodriguez started. His organization and leadership in committing time and care for young, disadvantaged people by offering skateboards and gear without any cost. All they have to do is show up at the parks and swap old boards and get back new versions to ride on.
Rodriguez's work had expanded more than he had expected, eventually collaborating with prisons across the state including Avenal State Prison (ASP) in Kings County. Incarcerated artists are the biggest help in this community-wide model, doing makeovers on blank decks where their finished work gets put into auctions for buying more materials for the kids to use while skating.
Prison workers said this work has been pulled off with such pride from those on the inside, and it's an activity they want to keep going with while incarcerated. It's a connection that we don't see often, incarcerated artists and kids in the greater Central Valley area enjoying the art that they both pull off when other outlets might not be possible in their difficult positions.
The next auction hosted by Fresno Skateboard Salvage is next month in mid-October on their Facebook page at FSS Auctions, with 100 percent of the proceeds going straight to the youth.