Sailing Instructor Training Program

The Sailing Instructor Trainee program (S.I.T.) is a workforce development and college preparation program for at-risk Baltimore city high school students, run by the Downtown Sailing Center in partnership with the St. Paul's Bridges Program and Baltimore City's YouthWorks summer jobs program. Throughout the course of a summer, trainees in the program are paid to learn to swim, to sail, and to teach sailing while also learning additional character building lessons. They study with a professional SAT preparatory instructor, practice college essay writing and interviews, perform college searches and do college visits, and interact with speakers from multiple different professions. After graduating the S.I.T. Program, and once they become sailing instructors, the teenagers become mentors and role models to the younger at-risk youth from their own communities that they will teach at the Downtown Sailing Center.

This intensive summer job program also teaches multiple vocational and life-skills to the trainees. First aid and CPR are taught along with conflict resolution and crisis management. A safe (power) boating license class is taught, and at the same time trainees work on public speaking, coaching, and teaching theory. Teamwork, leadership, and problem solving flow naturally from the sailing components of the program, and at the end of the program, after passing the US Sailing Small Boat Instructor course, trainees should be able to get a job teaching at any community sailing center in the country!

The goals of the program are two-fold, however: give graduates of the program a marketable skill (and reliable summer job in Baltimore if they need it for when they go to college) and prepare them for college, and later on, adult life. The message to these children is that if they stay in school, apply themselves and work hard, there is no limit to what they can accomplish!

The Downtown Sailing Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit community sailing center.
Located at The Baltimore Museum of Industry
Photography donated by Andy Herbick Photography, and others.