Hektor Esparza has been putting at-risk kids on skateboards for eight years. When he started Push Forward Skateboarding, the mantra was simple: Skate, educate, enlighten. Get kids from single-parent houses and low-income homes paired with adult skate mentors once a week for a year, get them on a skate team and keep them from turning into statistics. “[An adult skater] introduces them to ideas of self-cultivation through skateboarding, and also the arts, education [and] nutrition,” Esparza says.
To keep the program on track, Esparza regularly holds events for awareness and funding. On November 22, he’s doing it again, this time as a skate contest, benefit and concert. Bands—including Mercy Music, Unfair Fight, Crazy Chief and Surrounded by Thieves—start at 3 p.m. in front of the Dive Bar on Maryland Parkway, where the all-ages portion of the benefit takes place with food, music, skating and volunteers building skateboards all day. After 9 p.m., it’s taken inside as a 21-and-over concert.
“The event will embody Push Forward’s ideals,” Esparza says, “that you can and probably should keep learning and shredding it up for your entire life.”
Push Forward Rock for Youth 2 November 22, 3 p.m., $10. Dive Bar, 702-586-3483.