The 2018 Youth Program Wraps Up

In Youth by Hugh Freund

With summer winding down and our various youth programs coming to an end, we can’t help but reflect on what a phenomenal season it has been. From late spring through August, approximately 1,000 kids passed through Pier 4 to learn about sailing, marine science, academics, and ultimately, themselves.

Students, most of whom receive scholarships, tackled various projects throughout the summer. Our Swim Sail Science students created and showcased their own books posing solutions to local and global environmental issues while others increased their swimming and sailing skills. Some returning students tackled racing higher performance and capsizeable dinghies for the first time.

While we can speak passionately to how Courageous changes lives—after all, the vast majority of our students express increased confidence after attending and an interest in returning next year—we’ve asked parents and students to share their perspectives on the growth they’ve seen and experienced over the summer. Their responses have been overwhelmingly positive and inspiring, and only reinforce how important it is to offer programs like ours to curb summer-learning loss and bridge the gap between marginalized children and their more affluent peers. Here’s what some of our parents and students had to say:

“[The program] has given her confidence in her own decisions, and she is more willing to take charge. Courageous has given her a chance to prove that she can adapt and make good choices in a changing environment.”

“I’m proud of the community, specifically how inclusive everyone is!”

“In the summer, it’s easy for kids to check out, and as parents, we do want them to have some down time after the stress of the school year. But there is nothing like having your children’s minds and horizons expanded by a summer program. The most significant change I have seen in my children from this program is that they are engaged, inspired, and learning at the same time. I cannot tell how many times both my boys have voluntarily said how much they love sailing and love the program, and for one of my children, this is a really tall order. He doesn’t love doing a lot of group activities.”

“I’m proud of myself because I made new friends.”

“My child Is gaining an independent spirit and an openness to working with new kids”

“[My kids] don’t stop talking when they come home, which is great. They know all of the parts of the boat and knots and speak to me as if they are speaking another language. [Without the program], they would not have developed such a lifelong skill otherwise.”

We’re grateful for the Courageous community and our supporters for making summer 2018 a huge success. Thank you for all you do!