In yesterday’s The Log, SoCal’s #1 Boating and Fishing Newspaper, Ambrosia Sarabia wrote a nice article about a significant social investment that the Port of LA has made in local youth through a multi-year financial commitment to the LA Maritime Institute’s award winning TopSail Youth program. (Topsail Youth Sail Training Program Teaches More Than Boating – Nov. 29, 2007)
According to the article, The Port of Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a three-year agreement with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Sail Training Program that will provide $525,000 for the first year and increase 3 percent a year over the following 2 years.
“The program provides a life experience for the teen participants,” said Arley Baker, senior director of communications and legislative affairs. “Many of the participants have had little exposure to the ocean, so a sailing adventure is extraordinary for them – let alone an adventure where they play a role in navigating the ship as a crew. It’s a teambuilding adventure.”
Programs like this do a great job of educating and building self-esteem in participants; however, they also expose young people to potential maritime careers. With the looming shortage of qualified professional mariners on the horizon, this can only be a good thing. (Statement of Chairman Oberstar and Subcommittee Chairman Cummings from Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Hearing – “Mariner Education and Workforce” – Oct 17, 2007)
Kudos to the Port of LA and congratulations to LAMI and to all of the kids that will benefit from life changing experiences at sea under sail!
Photo” Port of Los Angeles