The Sailing Instructor Training (S.I.T.) program is a workforce development and college preparation program for at-risk Baltimore City high school students. It is run by the DSC in partnership with Bridges at St. Paul's School and Baltimore City's YouthWorks summer jobs program.
Throughout the course of a summer, trainees learn to swim, sail and teach sailing, while also learning additional character building lessons and getting paid. They study with a professional SAT preparatory instructor, practice college essay writing and interviews, perform college searches and go on college visits, and interact with speakers from different professions. After graduating the S.I.T. program, and once they become sailing instructors, these young adults become mentors and role models to the younger at-risk youth from their own communities that they teach at the DSC.
This intensive summer job program also teaches multiple vocational and life skills to the trainees:
- First aid and CPR
- Boating safety
- Conflict resolution
- Crisis management
- Public speaking
- 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 Certification 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:
- Give graduates of the program a marketable skill (and reliable summer job in Baltimore if they need it while they are in college)
- Prepare them for college and adult life
The message to these young people is that if they stay in school, apply themselves and work hard, there is no limit to what they can accomplish!