At 9 years old, Zoe Herishen loves being a skateboarder. Going to skate parks was a favorite thing to do, but when she did, there were never any girls to skate with. She was not bothered by the fact that she was usually the only girl, but it would have been nice to have some girls to bond with over skating.
Then Zoe learned about an organization for girl skaters called Girls Riders Organization. They were having a girls meet up at Riverside Park in NYC so Zoe decided to go. It was the best decision that she ever made. She met not only other girl skaters, but GRO founder, Courtney Payne-Taylor and Katie Andrews, the NYC GRO Crew President. There was an immediate connection with Zoe and the GRO NYC girls and that afternoon she became an official GRO Rider.
GRO’s mission is about empowering girls through board sports and encouraging them to become strong, confident leaders in their community. Girls of all ages are invited to suggest ideas about events, fundraising, and all aspects of the organization. This is a story about one young girl and how her imagination was brought to life.
Up until then, all events Zoe had attended were specific to either long boards or short boards. As a skater who rode many sizes of boards, Zoe had an idea for an event that would include them all.
At the next GRO Session, Zoe shared her idea with the GRO NYC Crew and they loved it. Not only were they going to move forward with this event, they were going to let Zoe lead the planning for Chica de Mayo.
Imagine being a 9-year-old and having an adult actually listen to one of your ideas and help you turn them into a reality. Zoe was thrilled. When she found out that Courtney wanted her to lead the event she was proud of herself having the courage to approach the GRO crew and pitch her idea. Zoe’s family noticed a positive change in Zoe since becoming a member of GRO NYC. She was becoming more confident, more vocal and more expressive. She was taking chances and becoming more outgoing.
Event planning began and sponsors were excited to get involved. Everything seemed to be on track. About a month before the event one of the main sponsors backed out. Unexpected charges arose and suddenly the event was in danger of being cancelled. There are plenty of generous sponsors willing to donate product to raffle, which is wonderful, but when it comes down to getting money to cover event venues and other costs, it becomes difficult to find companies willing to provide monetary sponsorship. Once news of possible cancellation got out, the venue offered to lower the price and Jessup Griptape agreed to provide the financial support allowing Chica de Mayo to move forward
This is one example of why Girls Riders Organization needs financial support. In order to continue increasing the reach and impact, empowering girls of all ages and helping them turn their dreams into a reality, we need support from individuals and businesses alike. We have the opportunity to reach so many girls, but are stymied by a lack of funds.
Teaching self confidence is one of the greatest benefits of GRO. GRO helps girls overcome their insecurities by teaching them a sport which helps boost confidence and allows them a safe place to bond with other girls who share a common interest.
Through GRO these girls become strong, courageous, and confident. Everyone learns that no matter how they are different, they are still amazing!
Help dreams like Zoe’s come to life by making a donation online today!