A Valley teen who lived in the foster care system is using skateboarding to mentor others, by teaching perseverance and positivity.
Bryce Nance was only 10 years old when his mom died in an accident. He entered the foster care system shortly after.
"The whole thing gets a lot of people looking down on you but that’s not the case," said Bryce. "It’s more that most of us come from sketchy situations and try to make the best of it."
Bryce teamed up with +swappow PLUS Foundation that connects foster kids to the skatepark.
"[We] give Arizona foster kids the ability and opportunity to thrive through skateboarding," said Michael Shapiro, Executive Director for the +swappow PLUS Foundation. "Arizona foster kids are extraordinary. They are resilient. They are optimistic, they have hope."
The first time Bryce stepped on a skateboard he fell hard.
"Within minutes his front foot came off the board and he rolled his ankle," and it swelled up to the size of a grapefruit said, Shapiro. "We thought, 'Man we’re never gonna see this kid again.' He sat on the sidelines disappointed."
But Bryce got back up and showed up to the next event and every event after.
"He was excited to go, his ankle was healed and he went out and skated," said Bryce. "I had to skate that park. To definitely had to fully commit."
Through +swappow PLUS Foundation Bryce became a mentor, giving affirmations to other skaters and being a positive role model to children navigating the foster care system.
"It felt like what I was supposed to be doing," said Bryce. "When you’re no longer bogged down that you’re going to biff it, once you know that you’re going to get back up and keep going then nothing can slow you down."
Bryce has since been adopted by his grandma and stepdad. He's still shredding at the skatepark and mentoring along the way.