The Research Behind the Wind

Written by: Sunitha Chandy, PsyD

Prior to joining the Carpe Ventus board I had never been on a sailboat. So the main question I get is how a Landlubber like me ended up on the board of a nonprofit all about water sports. But it was love at first talk when I heard about the vision of Carpe Ventus.

This may have a lot to do with my other love, research, program development and evaluation!  It's hard not to embrace the inner nerd after the 5 years of graduate study needed to get my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. During those years nothing sparked my interest like talk of developmental assets, youth violence prevention and grassroots programs.

So maybe you're starting to see where the attraction to Carpe Ventus began. Research shows us that increasing developmental assets in at-risk youth can increase their chances of thriving. Carpe Ventus is intentional about utilizing Best Practices for Youth Violence Prevention and Positive Youth Development research to teach skills and concepts that lead to growth.

We want to equip healthy risk takers to break the barriers that hold them back by equipping them actively with the skills needed to do so. The best way to learn to break barriers is to take risks, and learn how to have fun while doing it!

The other thing that has me SO excited about Carpe Ventus is that to do this we need coaches with the same skills. If we look at our own lives and at areas of struggle that have led to our growth and success we see the positive supporters who encouraged and pushed us not to give up. We see ourselves having to step into fears, embrace challenges,  navigate new situations, learn how to work with diverse teams and adapt to new environments without losing ourselves.  This is how we have achieved our own success and this is how our youths can too.

So this is where we need risk-takers like you.
We are recruiting the adventurers, the boundary pushers, the thrivers to join alongside us to create real change in our city through the natural resource we have in Chicago, our lakefront. Our coaches training is geared to teaching our coaches to address and be aware of barriers in their lives and the lives of our youths.  Through actively learning about identity development, racial and cultural dynamics, dealing with fear and anxiety, in the moment problem solving, teamwork and self- care our coaches will be equipped to teach the skills we see as foundational in helping us take the risks needed to step out and do something new.

We at Carpe Ventus are building a community that can have fun together and take risks together to create a better Chicago, and we hope you're up for the ride too!

Erin Foster