'Skateboarding Saves Lives': How Tony Hawk is Bringing Skate Parks to Kids in Low-Income Communities
Before a skate park was built in 18-year-old Alberth Mimila’s neighborhood, he says “bad things” like gang violence and drug use were his only outlets.
Since he started skateboarding four years ago, the Long Beach, California, native has found mentors, a job and a passion for volunteering.
“The skate park gave me a place to go when I was upset or emotional,” Mimila tells PEOPLE. “Before, I used to go and do negative things. Now, it’s given me comfort and a home with the people there.”