Mission: Piers Park Sailing Center is a community sailing center that uses Boston Harbor and the seas beyond to provide year round recreational, educational and personal growth opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
Results: Achievement: Improved academic performance and graduating from high school. Learning job skills to gain employment.
Prevention: Living healthy, active lifestyles to prevent obesity and depression. Avoiding peer pressure and not engaging in violent or risky behavior.
Development: Building tolerance and understanding of their peers of all backgrounds and abilities. Realizing their full potential to become engaged citizens and live productive adult lives.
Target demographics: Our youth development program serves youth who are at-risk or living with disabilities. Participants are ages 7-18 from East Boston and other primarily low-income, diverse neighborhoods in the cities of Boston, Chelsea, Lynn, and Revere. The majority of the populations from the neighborhoods we serve are recent immigrants and English is not spoken at home. These neighborhoods provide few healthy eating options. 80% program participants qualify for free lunches and participate in our free summer food service project.
Geographic areas served: Boston, Chelsea, Lynn, Western Mass
Programs: The flagship of PPSC is our free Summer Youth Program. Each year more than 500 young people, aged 10 to 18, able and disabled, enjoy learning to sail, race, and explore the islands of Boston Harbor. From April through October we teach sailing to dozens of adults, and offer Sailing Passes for adults, and their families and friends, to enjoy the unique recreational resource of Boston Harbor with the boats in our fleet. We support a weekly race series and host several special events each year. Our facility and dock are fully wheelchair accessible, as is our fleet of sailboats. The majority of our fleet is made up of Sonar class sailboats, which are one of the boats sailed in the Paralympics. Our Adaptive Sailing Program teaches sailing to people of all levels of physical ability; it is headed by Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, a gold medalist in the 2008 Paralympic Games.
Piers Park Sailing Center brought me up since I was just 10 years old. In the Fall of 2000 I started sailing with Piers Park. I was so impressed and happy with them that I decided to stay with them and do all of their spring, summer and fall sailing sessions. At the age of 15 I became a future leader, training to become a sailing instructor. Now as a cadet at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, I still teach sailing to the youth and underprivileged of the city. I am giving back to a place that gave me so much.
This organization serves so many people in the community by giving them the opportunity to learn to sail. Youth, teens, and adults from all backgrounds and abilities are given an opportunity most could not afford on their own. It also teaches everyone the treasure that we have, the Boston Harbor and its importance to our everyday life.
I highly recommend this organization to anyone that wants to learn a life long skill, and to someone who wants to meet great people. My wife, and my one year old son enjoy sailing. Our hope is for our son to learn this skill and gain the confidence he needs to succeed in life.