A short documentary about BSKA's Mission
For over 10 years, Bangladesh Street Kids Aid has been offering hundreds of underprivileged children informal skateboarding, art, and English lessons. We have also assisted marginalized children we connect with through skateboarding by providing them with care packages that include personal care items, toys, clothing, and sandals.
Through these programs, we have seen countless positive results such as an increase in confidence and in their desire to learn new things.
Our mission is to provide these children with a safe environment to play, learn, and have access to the tools that will help them explore their enormous potential.
We have seen that creative empowerment through skateboarding lessons and a quality, diversified education can help marginalized children overcome the socio-economic barriers that they face.
Susie has over 10 years of experience working with street children in Bangladesh, providing school fees and supplies, uniforms, personal care supplies, food, medical care, and toys to the children. She has studied the Bangla language at a Bangla institute in Dhaka. She has also studied Anthropology at BRAC University in Bangladesh, a university that is rated #2 in the country. Susie holds a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts from Antioch University Santa Barbara with her concentration being Business and Entrepreneurship. She is also certified in Permaculture Design. Throughout the years, Susie has made many valuable contacts in Bangladesh who have helped her bring this project to its current state (see below). Susie thoroughly enjoys the Bangladeshi culture and lifestyle and spending quality time with the kids. She plans to settle in Bangladesh and run BSKA’s programs permanently.
Monica is a graduate of the University of Dhaka and holds a Master’s in Child Development and Family Relations. She has worked for over 10 years in the Bangladesh media industry for multiple TV channels and production companies making television commercials, short films, and documentaries. She met founder Susie Halsell when she was working with BBC Media Action in Cox Bazaar. Susie was there holding a competition for the children from BSKA’s original skate school. Monica, being a sports-lover and a believer in the positive impact sports can play in a child’s development, was immediately interested in getting involved with the work of BSKA. She has also worked for many years as a freelance Writer/Director. She created the stunning documentary for BSKA “Latent Dream”. Her level of understanding and compassion for the marginalized children of Bangladesh is apparent in her documentary and in how she interacts with the kids. She has been assisting with the establishment of BSKA in Bangladesh 1 year prior to our incorporation as a non-profit in March of 2017
Jessica has a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.A. in Political Philosophy (The Idea of Toleration) from the University of York in England. She studied in York as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. Prior to her teaching career (15 years at the community college level), she worked in politics and business.
Trent J. Benedetti is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. Married to Barbara, for over 40 years, they have raised four children and have four grandchildren. Mr. Benedetti is Past-Chairman of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and a currently serves as chairman of the St. Louis de Montfort Parish Finance Council and as Treasurer for the Los Padres Boy Scout Council.
Margie is currently the owner and administrator of a residential care facility for elders with memory loss and dementia. She also founded a non-profit that provides various services for elders, Community Partners in Caring. While she is a very successful business owner, she is at the same time a very compassionate person, is the mother of nine children, and has plans to help train the cooks at BSKA.
Heidi Lemmon started the Skate Park Association in 1996 and today the Skate Park Association International is recognized as a distinguished California non-profit. Over the course of 20 years Heidi helped set up skateparks, youth programming, and has produced over 300 events in addition to being Team Manager for SPAI and the legendary Termite skateboard company. Paul Schmitt and Heidi worked together to create a custom line of pro quality decks for the younger riders.
Sohail Ahmed is a distinguished Bangladeshi Freedom Fighter and has donated a portion of his own property in Bangladesh to BSKA in hopes to do yet another great thing for his country. Sohail has studied in Texas, United States and helped introduce certified natural gas (CNG) to his country. He is the managing director of Texas Gascon Services, Ltd. He established an eco-friendly, naturistic resort in Gazipur called Aranyak. He is truly a one-of-a-kind, generous, caring, nature-loving, respected individual who always thinking positively and hopefully about the work of BSKA.
Many gracious people have extended their expertise in Bangladesh because they believe in BSKA's mission to help the marginalized children of their country through empowerment. We have received help from experts in the NGO field, marketing, business, and networking. Everywhere you go in Bangladesh, friendly faces seem to be waiting to help however they can.