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Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Teens help produce ad with Lil Wayne

By Keith Hamm

A group teenagers from a New York City mentoring program that builds confidence through board sports have teamed up with rapper-turned-skateboarder Lil Wayne to produce a national television commercial this summer.

The 30-second Mountain Dew spot, featuring the Grammy Award-winning Lil Wayne -- also known as Weezy -- begins its two-day shoot Aug. 16 in Miami, Fla., following storyboard concepts developed by 10 high school students from the Stoked after-school program.

"All of these kids snowboard and skateboard with us throughout the year," Stoked Founder and President Steve Larosiliere told "They've gotten a lot of their confidence from the board sports, and it's given them the confidence to go in and talk to Mountain Dew executives, interact with professionals, and have their voices heard."

Those opportunities, says Larosiliere, reflect Stoked's mission, which is "to promote personal development, academic achievement, and healthy living to under-served youth through action sports culture," according to the nonprofit's website.

"The best thing for me has been to see how much these kids are stepping up to the plate when challenged," Larosiliere added. "They're putting in a lot of hours on this project and committing through the summer."

Award-winning commercial and music video director Chris Robinson heads up the shoot, which is a centerpiece of Mountain Dew's interactive online DEWeezy campaign.

The commercial is tentatively scheduled to debut during the Dew Tour's Toyota City Championships, which will run Oct. 18-21 in San Francisco, Calif.

In other Stoked news, the 585 Boardriders shop will host the Stoked Summer BBQ and fundraiser on Sept. 1, in Venice, Calif.