Our Mission

since our founding in 2015…

We have partnered with some of the best youth mentoring organizations in Chicago to serve under-resourced youth in the areas of poverty alleviation, violence prevention and community development.

We started Carpe Ventus because we see untouched opportunities:

  • 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 investing in mentorship, strengthening these redemptive relationships through sailing.

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

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“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!”

-Dr. Sunitha Chandy

Hear more in an interview with Kin City podcast


Partner Perspective

David Kelly has invested the last 15 years in co-founding and running a center for peace and healing called Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in a Chicago neighborhood with a very high level of violence and fatalities.  He has said, “We have too many youth who are operating out of a sense of not having any worth — that is pretty much what they have heard — and too many have bought into it. They have all experienced serious violence, and so are dealing with significant trauma and the effects that come with it.  So what you have are young people who are carrying a deep sense of shame, who are traumatized, who have nothing to do, and nowhere to go.”[1] He has also said, “Every kid in our neighborhood knows someone close to them who has been killed so little kids grow up not feeling invincible, but feeling vulnerable.”[2]

It is important that young people learn how to pass tests on paper and on computers.  It is also important to learn how to pass real life tests in a completely foreign situation and to learn adaptive leadership.  These young men and women have daily, real life tests of survival, but we have the chance to provide a completely different category of challenge and along with it, a changed perspective about what could be.

[1] Chicago Sun-Times 7/12/14 Stopping Violence Starts with Hope by John Maki.

[2] MSNBC Originals video Ricochet: Part 3: Who buys the guns?


From the water to the grid

The opportunity we provide youth is on that impacts core beliefs about oneself and builds a positive sense of competence. The idea that you can hit an obstacle—that you can do something scary or unknown and make it to the other side with confidence changes the way youth think about themselves. Imagine what that sense of confidence in front of obstacles in the classroom or the street corner or in relationships can accomplish. Our youth are trained to consider the cost of risk and then put the belief that you can do it into action.