Dubuque SheSkates group teaches skateboarding, confidence to young girls

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - A new group in Dubuque aims to teach skateboarding skills to young girls while also empowering them to become more confident.

People enjoy the new skate park in Dubuque on Wednesday, July 17. (Charlie Grant, KCRG)

Izzy Mejia created SheSkates after picking up skateboarding just seven months ago. She fell in love with the sport and how it made her feel more confident, both at the skate park and in other areas of her life.

She wanted to bring this experience to younger girls in the community, while also providing them an opportunity to find "big sisters" in the skate scene.

Mejia created a seven-week course through the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department. Girls in kindergarten through fifth grade meet on Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Similarly, girls in sixth through eighth grade meet Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. They're learning how to carve, do simple tricks, and basic skate park etiquette.

Now on their third week, Mejia said she and other instructors are having a great time. She hopes the girls take with them a confidence that shines in every area of their lives.

"A lot of confidence, not only in the skate park but coming home with that confidence as well," Mejia said. "I know when we started like six months ago confidence just grew outside of the park, even just walking along the street and vocalizing yourself to people."

Co-founder Maria Mojhadam also thinks they're learning valuable life lessons.

"Skateboarding, it's so much kind of doing the same thing over and over again until you finally get it," Mojhadam said. "There's so much failure, it teaches, like, a lot of resiliency."

Classes will end mid-October. Mejia said she's working on making the group a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

For more information, visit the group's Facebook page.