Why he's interesting: The former Slavic Village Development community organizer is using his skating expertise for neighborhood benefit, attracting grant money to provide 100 free skateboards and lessons to low-income kids and create safe neighborhood spaces to skate. He's currently writing a business plan for his own skateboard company — Skate RTA.
Gaming Inspiration: He got turned on to skateboarding at 11 after playing the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, which featured videos of real-life pros once a player conquered that character's skills. "I was blown away. I figured, Well, I'm at least going to try to learn how to jump."
Alternative Ending: At 18, he turned to Slavic Village Development to create a skatepark in his neighborhood, then connected with Public Square Group, a nonprofit that promotes civic engagement through skateboarding in Northeast Ohio. "I remember as a kid seeing dudes on the corner day in and day out and I said, 'I don't want to f---ing end up like this.' I like fighting the problem versus running from it."
"My girlfriend Endia and I grow so similar as time passes. It's great to know we can drive each other crazy but stay commited to each other and also what we want out of life."
Tricked Out: His favorite trick is the varial heel, a combination of a front shove-it and a heelflip. "It's one of the few that has stuck with me over the years that I can do instantly."
staying grounded: Before he skates, Garrison lays on the ground for five minutes to prepare. "It's to just get used to being on the ground and taking out the worry. Then I'd be like, Ok, I got you."