-  To see the inherent desire to take risks channeled toward restoration       

- To see young risk-takers taking life-giving risks instead of detrimental ones

- To see adventurers become mentors

- To see success in risk-taking on the water translate to the development of entrepreneurs and leaders our communities need on the grid.


We work out this vision by strengthening mentorship through sailing.


off the grid onto the water

Access to one of our city’s finest assets often seems to be blocked by an invisible wall.  Some on the grid have never even seen the lake!  Others enjoy the public lakeshore, but only a special few seem to be able to get onto the water.

We strengthen redemptive relationships through life-giving risk!

We want to give all our risk-takers access to our nearest natural environment—free from gang lines and turf wars. We know that if we strengthen a young person’s risk-taking muscle on the water, we build into their ability to take risks in the kind of entrepreneurship and innovation needed to solve some of the biggest problems in our communities.

Slow down! Be quiet! Focus!



Without an outlet to take risks they find detrimental ways to satisfy the desire for adventure. The need to take risks burns within many of us, but in the confines of the city we get: Slow down! Be quiet! Focus!


Kin City speaks about seizing the wind with Dr. Sunitha Chandy. Dr. Chandy is a licensed clinical psychologist who sits on the board of Carpe Ventus. Listen in as she talks about the character building elements of risk taking, building bridges and adventure. And hear why she's so excited to be a part of Carpe Ventus.


Why Sailing?

What does this “sport for the affluent” have to offer those who have really serious obstacles to overcome?  As sailors, the possibilities we see are endless: Riding the wind and waves has a way of changing perspective --uncovering potential, challenging assumptions and releasing dreams.  It is a way we find freedom. 

Carpe Ventus does not stop at new perspective alone; we create space for learning to seize the wind while connecting with the wealth of real life experience found in unexpected new friends, even those from a different side of the city.  Our unique, collaborative challenges produce vital skills for venturing into new environments, cross-cultural relationships and community leadership.

It was a wonderful team-building experience I’m looking forward to the next time!

I really enjoyed myself and hope to come back to sail. But moreover I hope to see you guys again.

On the drive here many youth were saying, ‘I’m not getting on that boat.’ On the way home (if they don’t fall asleep) they will be talking about how it felt on the boat. THANK YOU!

How do we do this?

In Partnership

A small taste of the joy on the water.

Mentoring relationships are undeniably significant.  There are over 140 mentoring organizations in the city of Chicago doing great work with thousands of mentors and mentees.   They are often looking for ways to get new experiences and build new skills.   Carpe Ventus combines the inherent power of wind sports with this vast opportunity to develop young innovators and leaders.

Not just a sailboat ride

Our goal goes far beyond creating exposure trips. We develop great sailing coaches who know the obstacles that keep our risk-taker from flourishing and who know how to build assets needed to expand their potential through the experience on the water.  Our coaches are trained to understand their own identity development, racial and cultural barriers, positive youth development and risk evaluation to make them effective guides equipped to nurture mentoring relationships making them stronger and more effective.  We focus on actively connecting the challenge, growth and achievement created through wind sports to the skills needed to thrive back on the grid.

Value from start to finish

Our introductory sailing events give participants the chance to steer and crew a sailboat.  Even in our intro sails we actively teach key life principles.  For those who want to become wind-riders, Carpe Ventus classes explore the correlation between skills learned on the water and life principles needed to thrive in challenging situations --not just get pushed around by the wind.  

Carpe Ventus Sailing & Swimming

Mentor::Strong SAILS

We are about the work of mentorship.  It is our desire to leverage what we're good at for the benefit of the youth in our city and we do this through partnership.   Our innovative curriculum makes tangible connections between what we do on the water and everyday life on the grid.  Click to learn more!

team-building sails

Why stay on the grid when you can get out on the water?  What if your team-building experience could have a direct social impact?  We use a range of curriculum and team-building activities which we can tailor to your team's schedule and priorities and best of all, it provides access to our city's youth and mentors! Click to learn more!


Carpe Ventus continues the adventure in the off season through play-based swim lessons.  Swimming in a controlled environment is a great way to strengthen confidence and the risk muscle for adventuring out on the lake.  Mentor::Strong SWIM aims to:

  • To teach youth swimming skills, ranging from basic survival swimming to multiple strokes, treading and advanced swimming techniques

  • To empower youth to confront their fear of water and the lake so they are better equipped for the sailing season and life after Carpe Ventus

  • To have fun! Showing youth that being on, in, or under the water can be a blast, opening the lakefront and waters everywhere for them to enjoy.

stories, News & Adventures

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