Another Summer at Full Sail!

We had the best time of my life.
— Murrell, 12, from Cabrini Green

What a summer! So far this season we've taken 146 mentees from age 6 to 26 off the grid and onto the water. 1 in 10 youth have never seen Lake Michigan before! One mentor, age 32, had never seen the lake or sailed before going out with us! 

This year, the number of mentoring organizations we've worked with doubled in comparison to last year. We now have over 30 growing relationships with organizations that together serve hundreds of kids in Chicago's most under-resourced communities. 

We are currently taking significant steps toward working with high school student interns from those same communities. One of our goals for the 2018 sailing season is to have high school interns working with us in partnership with job training programs through our partnering organizations.  This summer we saw our high school interns enjoy taking the helm, add their own style to leading, and it was rewarding to see the impact their initiative had on the youth they led!

To all of our volunteers, we want to say THANK YOU for all your time, hard work, and heart you've so generously invested into this season. We couldn't have done it without you! 

The fun isn't over yet! We have more introductory sailing events lined up before harbors close in October.  Volunteers, we look forward to working alongside all of you for the rest of the season. 

That was fun, sometimes it’s good to be scared.
— Maurice, 16, of Englewoood

Making a splash in the off-season!

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean we take a break! Carpe Ventus, in partnership with By the Hand, continues to make a splash even in the off season by getting the kids off the grid and INTO the water! 

We are in our 10th week of swim lessons- and not only have we worked on getting comfortable in the water, but the kids are mastering their streamlines and moving on to learning more technical aspects of swimming such as Freestyle and Backstroke. We've even had a few boys take on the deep end and swim the entire length of the pool!

We have 5 sessions left and then out to the boat! So thankful for the opportunity to work with By the Hand and can't wait to see what is in store for us in the future! 

Taking Risks and Building Bridges with Dr. Sunitha Chandy

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Dr. Sunitha Chandy, licensed clinical psychologist and Vice-President of the Carpe Ventus Board of Directors spoke with Kin City about seizing the wind.  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.

Definitely not an "off-season"!

Let's just say the "off-season" is anything but slow.

Let's just say the "off-season" is anything but slow.

We have been making phenomenal progress!  There are actually way more stories than space, but we have been working extremely hard getting ready for the sailing season.  Some of the highlights have been working with our growing team of great volunteers and making new friends in the sailing community!  That has all been happening while climbing mountains of admin and hacking through jungles of red tape, but that is all part of founding an organization and it is well worth the work. 

The Carpe Ventus curriculum team tailored an experiential learning series to our needs and led a total of 23 people through our first round! 

Over the course of six sessions, this group developed a sense of community and took some life-giving risks through active learning about identity development, racial and cultural dynamics, dealing with fear and anxiety, in-the-moment problem solving, teamwork and self-care.  We were also challenged by learning more about the historical and present injustice against various ethnicities and particularly toward black people in our country and in Chicago. 

By training our team in this way we will be equipped to create a learning environment that builds trust from the beginning and develops the foundational skills necessary to take life-giving risks and do new and challenging things both on the grid in their communities and on water.   We are preparing to learn and grow by befriending and walking alongside people from often under-resourced and marginalized communities.

The interactive learning experiences plus the conversations had a powerful impact on all of us!  We heard difficult parts of others’ stories, we were also challenged to perceive and respond in different ways than we may have in the past.  Some who participated reported that their perspective was revolutionized!  One of them has signed on to attend again on April 16 to apprentice toward training volunteers in future rounds of Groundwork Sessions! (There's still time to register and join us!)

Over the next couple of months we will be working with mentoring organizations to get dates scheduled. (Mentors and orgs, get more details and sign up here!)   We are working toward launching the boat in mid to late April.  Our focus in May will be training our existing and new volunteers while verifying that our systems are working so we can be ready to hit the ground running in June and keep it up through the end of October.  So there are lots of exciting things happening, thanks for keeping up with the journey! 

Interested in joining us in the adventure?  Here are some next steps for you: