Darren Harper is a man who has truly come from a rough upbringing, and has made a strong positive impact on countless kids, including his own. To say he has “been there and done that” would be a definite understatement. Growing up on the gritty streets of South East Washington DC, Darren was given every opportunity to fail and follow a negative path. Instead of falling for the trappings his neighborhood might bring, he rose above it to not only do the opposite, but to live as a testament to truly being “all about the youth”. Whether he is making appearances at local schools, or just inspiring your everyday kid to stay out of trouble, he strives to be more than “just a skateboarder”, he want to be a household name.
Not only is Darren a positive example to the school children he visits, but he is also the father to four children of his own, Dakota Harper, three years old, Gianna Briscoe, seven years old, Da’ Jahn Harper, eight years old and Da’ Marja Harper who is twelve. Darren’s own father was in and out of jail when he grew up and that was definitely not a path he had planned to follow. He continues to be an inspiration to everyone he talks with and I am really glad we were lucky enough to get a hold of Darren. We hit him with our quick “rad dad” questionnaire and he dove right in. Darren showed us the side of him that isn’t normally seen in contrast to his wild and technical skateboarding. The self proclaimed “Obama of Skateboarding” gave us a cool insight to an even cooler skateboarder and father.
1. Darren, tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your
career with being a dad?
My name is Darren Harper and I’m a professional skateboarder based out of Washington DC. For years I have been balancing my career with being a fully active dad by just getting my children involved with everything I do as a skateboarder. I’ve always taken them out to skate along with me. My children constantly watch me on YouTube and much more.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
A modern dad to me means just being hip and abreast of whats going on today. Being able to show your kids a thing or two about some things they definitely wouldn’t think you’d be sharp at.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
Becoming a father changed my life by just hearing the word dad. Just thinking back to when I was a kid and I couldn’t call on my dad because he spent most of his life in and out of jail.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
The greatest part about being a dad is just spending time with my kids. Enjoying their most memorable moments.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
Funny stories, I just get tickled when my kids go to school and their classmates or teachers found out about me or already know who I am. They just think its so cool. Its makes me feel like a super hero of some sort in my own little way.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
The advice I can give to new fathers is Its not as hard as people say it is (laughs). Fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride.
Thanks so much Darren, we wish you the best of luck and you are well on the path to being a household name in skateboarding. Until then, we know your biggest fans will always be your children, but now our readers are pretty big fans too.
More about Darren Harper here: www.darrenharper.com