PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) – A school assignment evolved into a cameo appearance on the Disney Channel for Braydan Santos.
The 10-year-old skateboarder from Pinellas Park had to complete a project for one of his fourth-grade classes at Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School. That project, which was tied to “Teach the Teacher Day,” focused on showing the teacher and classmates how to perform a specific skill.
“He decided on his own,” explained his father, Darwin Santos, “he was like, ‘Dad, let’s go make a video!’”
“I utilized my skills,” said Braydan, “and just did that and, then, I posted it on Instagram.”
His video is titled “Kickflip 101” and if you watch it, you are likely to become an expert on that skateboarding trick.
Braydan told me his teacher did not grade his video but received positive feedback in the comments section.
“They said it was excellent, which is the best that you can get,” he said.
That “excellent” video has been viewed more than 4,000 times on his Instagram page and, to the surprise of the Santos family, it caught the attention of someone connected with the Disney Channel.
“We have a high school or elementary school acquaintance of mine,” said Darwin, “who has been watching him grow on his Instagram from when he first started learning with the bicycle helmet and everything but what really put it on was his ‘Kickflip 101’ video. They reached out to us and they were like, ‘Hey, we would like to do a little segment on him?’ We were super stoked about it, super excited.”
That segment, “In the Nook,” appears on the Disney Channel during the commercial breaks.
“They asked me some questions and I answered them,” said Braydan. “They were pretty basic questions about skateboarding and stuff.”
News Channel 8’s Gabrielle Shirley asked Braydan if he has seen himself on television yet.
“Yes, I have seen myself a few times,” he said. “It is kind of weird but it is pretty cool for the most part. Some of my parents’ friends have seen me on TV and some of my friends have.”
“It has been pretty crazy,” admitted Darwin. “We have had people sending us text messages wanting to confirm that was him because their kids had said, ‘Hey, I think I saw Braydan.’ They are like, ‘What?’ so they would text us and say, ‘Was Braydan on Disney because I cannot tell if our kids were lying or not,’ but it is pretty amazing.”
Darwin shared what he remembers about the moment Braydan first saw himself on the Disney Channel.
“He is there by himself watching it and it just happens to come on and he is like, ‘I am on TV! I am on TV!’” said Darwin, “so he was completely excited about it. We are so proud of him and everything he has done.”
Brayden, who will be entering the fifth grade, is an accomplished skateboarder. He is a star on “In the Nook” on the Disney Channel. He is also dreaming of graduating from college and becoming a professional skateboarder.
“Right now, we are just having fun and skateboarding has kind of taken off right? It is the first year of skateboarding in the Olympics next month so you never know what the possibilities are but right now, as a 10-year-old, we are just concentrating on him having fun,” said Darwin, “and whatever happens happens. He has a good head on his shoulders so he is going in the right direction.”