Thursday, October 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Do big things, skateboarder tells Fairfield High students

mike smith_ff high_RM

Professional skateboarder Mike Smith, 31, speaks Friday with Fairfield High School students after a talk in the school gym. Smith asked students during his talk "What's your legacy going to be? What are they going to say about you?" (Ryan McCarthy/Daily Republic.)

By
From page A4 | May 10, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — High school students heard Friday that their generation is sometimes described as the most selfish and lazy of all time, with a future of living at their parents’ home until they’re 30 – a fate professional skateboarder Mike Smith, 31, said doesn’t have to be theirs.

Smith, speaking to Fairfield High School students in the school gym, said he’s heard the critical description of their generation but doesn’t buy it.

“Every one of you,” Smith said, “wants to do big things.”

Nobody – not you, not your teachers – dreams of being average, he said.

“You all want to be incredible,” the skateboarder said.

Smith, who works with companies including Nike, Red Bull and GoPro, spoke about growing up in Rapid City, S.D. – one of the poorest places in America and where his parents said they couldn’t buy him a skateboard.

“You think it is hard in Fairfield,” he told students, and spoke about growing up in a small town and a broken home.

After six months, he had enough money to buy a blue skateboard with orange wheels, said Smith, recalling the day as the biggest in his life.

But as a 17-year-old, “I hated everything about who I was.” Smith recalled seeing a freshman special needs student at his high school – and, after walking past the youth, deciding to do everything he could to help him.

Smith and other students taught him to play golf and 300-pound linemen from the high school football team responded if anyone bullied the youth.

The professional skateboarder recalled living in a small farm town without any homeless people and discovering scores of people on the street when he went to college.

He asked one man what he needed. Socks, answered the homeless man, who had banged-up feet and toenails that were black. Smith went back to the college, where he played basketball and grabbed every sock he could.

“I made it rain tube socks,” said Smith, who spoke about helping the homeless for the next four years of college.

The most important tattoo he has – other than his wedding ring – is one that reads “Speak for the silent. Stand for the broken,” said Smith.

Every one of you, he told students, gets haters and doubters. Smith said such people are little bugs on his windshield that he wipes away – and then keeps on going.

“What’s your legacy going to be?” he asked students. “What are they going to say about you?”

Andrea Berber, a freshman at Fairfield High, said after Smith’s talk: “It gave me a better outlook on my future.”

“I can do things,” she said.

Monica Ramirez, 15, called the talk inspiring – particularly his message about not letting doubters define you.

“He’s completely right,” she said.

Shari Patterson, a history teacher at Fairfield High School, said Smith gives students a way to see themselves with a future.

“He speaks their language,” she said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Children run for the sake of running

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
60th Air Mobility Wing gets outstanding unit award

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Real McCoy ferry to shut down Thursday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Nairobi, oldest giraffe at Six Flags, dies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Day of Remembrance focuses on domestic violence prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Audubon group to offer wetlands walk, bird workshop

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Trailer rolls, knocks down pole, damages roadway

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Pumpkin bob set at Fairfield city pool

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Canada’s PM says shooting rampage was terrorism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Davis votes to return armored vehicle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Study looks at lane splitting in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
125 San Francisco inmates to get computer tablets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

California malpractice cap generates big spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Huge gold nugget going up for sale in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Healdsburg bans tobacco sales to anyone under 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
AP-GfK Poll: Public wants tighter Ebola screening

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Key features of rigorous new US Ebola monitoring

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Goofy dinosaur blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Social Security benefits get another tiny increase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Teens’ travel renews concerns about terror appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Methodist panel hears appeal over gay wedding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Analysis: Fowle was North Korea’s easiest US case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Missile, fire from Egypt wounds 2 Israeli troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers OK fighters for Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Prisons agree to end race policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Don’t make this mistake after voting

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Living a Democrat PC nightmare

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 24 Comments

Real reason to vote yes on 46

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
Keck did good job researching issue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

My husband visits dating sites, stays out until 3 or 4 a.m.

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
NBC promoting Weir, Lipinski to top skating team

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Annie Lennox embraces jazzy ‘Nostalgia’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Renee Zellweger: ‘People don’t know me in my 40s’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sax player behind ‘Baker Street’ solo dies at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

.

Sports

AP source: Goodell told to testify in Rice appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings measuring success on ‘wins and losses’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants’ bullpen melts down in 7-2 loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors hoping Kerr is final piece for title run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo XC teams finish MEL 10-0

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Carr confident despite Raiders’ winless start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Phony World Series tickets, merchandise seized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Request denied to remove judge on Peterson case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Probe: UNC academic fraud was ‘shadow curriculum’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
World Series rating for opener drops to low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Beaten Giants fan shows significant progress

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Polian, Wolf nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping Bears hope to slow No. 6 Oregon, Mariota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford picked to win Pac-12 regular-season crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA owners fail to pass lottery reform

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Leafs-Senators game postponed after shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brad Keselowski not concerned with popularity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
SHR swaps crews for Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

From Mexico to the World Series, Petit Giants’ shines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
’85 World Series Royals relishing playoff run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

FedEx, UPS make plans for a better holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
The top 20 US cities for tech startup funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Obituaries

Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Keith Bowen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Blanche Stevens

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9