Luke Vetrone is a Manhasset High School junior whose greatest extracurricular passion is skateboarding. His zeal and enthusiasm for the sport has been a vehicle to make new acquaintances and friends wherever he goes. For that matter, he has found that skateboarding creates an inclusive community and believes that skateboarding has a positive impact upon the lives of those who become part of the skateboarding culture.
He has volunteered at the afterschool program Adventures in Learning at the EOC for three years. This past summer, he opted to share his passion and happiness for skateboarding with students from Adventures who were fascinated with his skateboard and the sport itself. He decided to organize a one-week free skateboarding mini-camp for them.
Four fifth- and sixth-grade students enrolled—two girls and two boys. After assessing their skill levels, Vetrone gave them a warmup, followed by technical instruction that included foot and body positions, plus stretches and safety training. He also emphasized the use of skateboarding helmets and pads to protect from injury. All of them also had the opportunity to try the mini ramps and the half pipe.
Vetrone commented “When we first started planning this mini-camp, I wasn’t sure if the kids were going to stay interested and engaged throughout the day doing such a specific sport that was new to all of them. Not only did they stay interested, they all learned really quickly and ended up wanting to get better at it and stick with it!”
He also sought donations to subsidize the program from local Manhasset merchant Indi Surf Skate who generously donated protective gear and skateboards to the program.
This summer, Vetrone also interned at Chapman Skateboards, a skateboarding company in Deer Park. One day, Vetrone hopes to run an indoor/outdoor skate facility and camp here on Long Island.
Diana Holden, executive director of Adventures in Learning, noted that “Luke’s effort to create a skateboarding program for some of our students is symbolic of the strong student volunteer program here at Adventures. That he was inspired to do so on his own makes this even more noteworthy and we thank him.”
Founded nearly 50 years ago by the Congregational Church in Manhasset, Adventures in Learning is a nonprofit organization. This after-school program is located on the third floor of the Hagedorn Community Center in the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC building at 65 High Street, Manhasset. Most particularly, it is dedicated to improving the lives of children in Manhasset and Great Neck in need of after-school care and instruction.