Youth leaders within our community are not often recognized, that is why I wanted to highlight Elliot Shin.
Here are some things you need to know about Elliot Shin: He is an 11-year-old student who goes to Weaver Middle School. He has lived in Merced his whole life. Some of his favorite hobbies include playing video games, reading, drawing, and occasionally even torturing his kitty, Rice.
He has also recently been given the opportunity to make a design for several skateboards that will be raffled at the grand opening event of the new All Wheels Skate Park in McNamara Park coming up on Aug 10, 2018. The design Elliot created was inspired by what makes him think of a “memory being carved.” The design includes the logos “BHC+MADRES” with a pattern surrounding the words, giving it a carved effect.
“BHC” stands for Building Healthy Communities who is partnering with Madres, which is a local skateboard shop here in Merced. This new skatepark was designed by local youth and was meant to be inclusive, meaning young people of all ages and level of experiences in skateboarding will be able to join in. Elliot mentioned the issue with Merced not having many activities for youth to do. “There’s a bunch of motels, restaurants, and shops, that’s about it…,” he says. There is one skatepark in Merced already, however, it’s located in North Merced and that does make it less accessible for youth who live on the south part of town, considering that there are many youth who don’t have access to transportation when all they want to do is go to the park.
Elliot mentioned how he is excited yet nervous about the upcoming event since youth will finally see his designs in person and hopes they like how it turned out. The skateboards will be raffled, but the tickets are free giving all youth the chance to win one of Madres skateboards with a super cool design made by the artist Elliot Shin.