Skating into Dubuque
Late at night seems like the best time to be awake, tired thoughts in the form of overthinking or motivation can occasionally sprout big ideas. For Izzy Mejia of Dubuque, one March morning changed all the rest, as she thought up SheSkates.
Mejia was only a week into her skateboarding journey when the SheSkates idea was born. She had been longboarding for the past eight years and had visited many skate parks, which allowed her to notice a trend. She realized there was a lack of women/girls at any park she visited. She shared her idea with Maria Moghadam, an old coworker, saying she wanted to create a way to teach young girls how to skateboard. With both Mejia and Moghadam excited about their project, progress was underway.
Maria Maghadam began as a research and logistics helper, but soon after getting SheSkates off the ground, she took on a new role as co-founder.
“[Mejia] asked me to join her as co-founder and I of course said yes. We work really well together and I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else,” states Maghadam.
Skateboarding is a male-dominated sport and has been since it became a popular sport. SheSkates sets out to change the image of the sport by teaching young girls not only how to skate, but also how to make friends and gain confidence. As the founder, Mejia loves being able to open those opportunities through her program.
“SheSkates means the world to me to say the least. It’s been nothing but amazing watching the girls get a trick that they’ve worked so hard on. I hope it not only builds the girls confidence in the skatepark but out of it as well,” Mejia comments.
SheSkates classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Flora Park through the City of Dubuque Leisure Department. The duo is looking at becoming independent in order to extend the classes into the winter season. By bringing them to OllieWood Action Sports, an indoor skate-park owned by Dubuque’s Casey Hinderman, their practice can be year-round.
Mejia and Maghadam are excited for the future of SheSkates. Maghadam said she would love to explore one-on-one classes to accompany age and skill level. She also mentioned her goal in providing equipment to remove money as a barrier to success. But most importantly both want the movement to spread.
“The major dream would be to be able to bring a program like this to other cities so that girls all over can benefit from this type of program,” said Maghadam.
“Most importantly, I see it helping girls who need it most. Girls who need that big sister figure but don’t have it, girls that need someone there to release some energy,” Mejia agreed.
For more updates about the SheSkates program, visit the SheSkates Dubuque page on Facebook.