When a skater sets out with a goal to help others through skateboarding, as a fellow skater its only natural to want to support them. Juan Perez is a skater from southern California, who was inspired by Johnny Romano’s story and took it upon himself to raise money for JohnnyKicksCancer. With skaters like Juan involved, the future of Skateboarding looks bright.
First just the basics, How old are you and where are you from?
I am 16 years old and I live in Lakewood, California.
When & where did you first hear about Johnny Romano, his story, and the JohnnyKicksCancer organization?
I have a very big passion for skateboarding, so every morning I would go onto “The Berrics” website and one day they posted a video on the Roll-A-Thon Alex Midler had done and that sparked the idea. A couple days before I had seen the video, in school we were assigned a project called “Be the change.” So we had to pick and organization and spread awareness on it, so I picked the Johnny Kicks Cancer Organization. As soon as I picked this organization I became very dedicated to raise as much money as I possibly could, so I went to “Forever Ashbury” (lifestyle brand in long beach) and told them what I had in plan. So Ashbury and I decide to make laser cut pins saying “Destroy Cancer” and sell them for $3! I didn’t care about what grade I got on the project I just wanted to do something good in life. I was tired of seeing a lot of kids my age complaining on how they don’t have the newest iPhone or such, when kids like Johnny didn’t even get a chance to live a full life but was happier then most kids are nowadays. I wanted to be the change in the world, I wanted to show people what I am truly capable of, that not all skaters are low life punks. I have love for what I do and that is skating so I tried to give back by doing this.
What inspired you to want to do something through skateboarding to help others?
Having so much love for skating made me want to give back to the skateboarding industry, I am not that best at skating but I just have a love for it that it makes it hard to stop doing it. Also seeing Alex Midler and Jim T. Doing things like raising so much money for the organization motivated me to do something like them.
What motivates you to skate everyday?
Honesty skating with my friends like Eddie Merino and Justin Minton and seeing them skate the way they do makes me wanna skate like them, but it’s just the fact that its a never ending process. You will always have your good days and bad days on a skateboard but the satisfaction you get from riding away from a trick you’ve worked so hard to do is unbelievable!
Has there been anything in skateboarding that has really caused you to look at things differently in your everyday life?
Skateboarding has changed my life completely. If it weren’t for skating I wouldn’t have raised money for Johnny Kicks Cancer. It has made me who I am today. I find it really crazy how such a simple thing can bring joy to so many people around the world!
What did you end up getting on your project for School?
I got an A on the school project but I never really cared about the grade. I just wanted to do something right. I wanted nothing out of this but I am very thankful for Jim giving me this opportunity it means a lot!
Do you have any other ideas for future projects.
At the moment Forever Ashbury and I are slowly planning to have a Roll-A-Thon from Cherry skate park to The lighthouse in downtown long beach and take a group picture with everyone who came out to support Johnny Kicks Cancer. Not to sure it’ll come together like that but we are hoping for the best!
I would like to thank Johnny And Quy the owners of Forever Ashbury because if it weren’t for them none of this would’ve happen so thank you again!