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In 10th grade, Derek felt directionless and adrift. Looking at a list of afterschool programs a guidance counselor gave him, something about Rocking the Boat caught his eye. 

"I wasn’t passionate about anything in life. I thought I was not good at anything; I was just there. I wanted to find something.  Where I come from, most people go for sports. I thought sailing sounded like a fun thing to do. I wasn’t expecting this to change my life but it did."

Came for

Sitting in a sailboat last summer–a rising senior, a Job Skills apprentice, at that moment sailing on the Long Island Sound in a regatta at the Pequot Yacht Club–Derek realized he had found a passion and an identity he had not expected.

"I thought ‘This is me!’ It's like Rocking the Boat introduced me to the different person that I am now. The next big step is college."

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Came for

In 10th grade, Derek felt directionless and adrift. Looking at a list of afterschool programs a guidance counselor gave him, something about Rocking the Boat caught his eye. 

"I wasn’t passionate about anything in life. I thought I was not good at anything; I was just there. I wanted to find something.  Where I come from, most people go for sports. I thought sailing sounded like a fun thing to do. I wasn’t expecting this to change my life but it did."

Came for

Sitting in a sailboat last summer–a rising senior, a Job Skills apprentice, at that moment sailing on the Long Island Sound in a regatta at the Pequot Yacht Club–Derek realized he had found a passion and an identity he had not expected.

"I thought ‘This is me!’ It's like Rocking the Boat introduced me to the different person that I am now. The next big step is college."

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Came for

A three-month Rocking the Boat Public Program gave Alizette and her then-middle school classmates a chance to try out all three technical tracks—Boatbuilding, Environmental Science, and Sailing.  

"I wanted to be busy, kids at school are always in trouble. I don’t like trouble. We all come from the Bronx. I thought I was going to get stuck like everybody else."

Came for

She enrolled as soon as was eligible the summer before her freshman year. A junior now, Alizette is incredibly close with her fellow Boatbuilders, who have lofted, scarfed, riveted, clamped, and varnished together for three years. Building boats has built her confidence.

"Rocking the Boat does more for me now than it did at first. I have so much motivation now. Rocking the Boat makes me happy."

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Came for

A three-month Rocking the Boat Public Program gave Alizette and her then-middle school classmates a chance to try out all three technical tracks—Boatbuilding, Environmental Science, and Sailing.  

"I wanted to be busy, kids at school are always in trouble. I don’t like trouble. We all come from the Bronx. I thought I was going to get stuck like everybody else."

Came for

She enrolled as soon as was eligible the summer before her freshman year. A junior now, Alizette is incredibly close with her fellow Boatbuilders, who have lofted, scarfed, riveted, clamped, and varnished together for three years. Building boats has built her confidence.

"Rocking the Boat does more for me now than it did at first. I have so much motivation now. Rocking the Boat makes me happy."

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Came for

When he was younger, Cameron and his dad did woodworking projects together in the back yard—a bench, some chairs. It was satisfying. He joined Rocking the Boat thinking he knew what to expect, but he soon found there was a lot more to it.

"I needed a summer job and I like working with my hands, so..."

Came for

"I met kids I liked, who were like me. The thought of coming back after the summer just stuck in my head."

Cameron relished being part of the crew that finished Rocking the Boat's 55th boat, Community, and taking her out on the water for the first time. Now he's working with that same group to build a 19-foot sailboat.

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Came for

When he was younger, Cameron and his dad did woodworking projects together in the back yard—a bench, some chairs. It was satisfying. He joined Rocking the Boat thinking he knew what to expect, but he soon found there was a lot more to it.

"I needed a summer job and I like working with my hands, so..."

Came for

"I met kids I liked, who were like me. The thought of coming back after the summer just stuck in my head."

Cameron relished being part of the crew that finished Rocking the Boat's 55th boat, Community, and taking her out on the water for the first time. Now he's working with that same group to build a 19-foot sailboat.

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Came for

Rayven attends Art and Design High School, with a concentration in fashion. During the depths of the pandemic, she joined Rocking the Boat’s Environmental Science Program "on a whim,” while it was meeting virtually.

"It was something I could look forward to. I didn’t expect so much to come out of such a small part of the Bronx. I found out through Rocking the Boat that the environment and fashion are connected – textile production involves chemicals and plastics that are bad."

Came for

At the intersection of fashion design and environmental science, Rayven now sees an exciting, entrepreneuring career path.

"I have my own natural jewelry collection, Teary Eyed Jewelry, made with shells, stones. My goal in the future is to make sustainable fabrics. I’m impressed with myself, not everybody can find what they are passionate about. My dream came from Rocking the Boat."

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Came for

Rayven attends Art and Design High School, with a concentration in fashion. During the depths of the pandemic, she joined Rocking the Boat’s Environmental Science Program "on a whim,” while it was meeting virtually.

"It was something I could look forward to. I didn’t expect so much to come out of such a small part of the Bronx. I found out through Rocking the Boat that the environment and fashion are connected – textile production involves chemicals and plastics that are bad."

Came for

At the intersection of fashion design and environmental science, Rayven now sees an exciting, entrepreneuring career path.

"I have my own natural jewelry collection, Teary Eyed Jewelry, made with shells, stones. My goal in the future is to make sustainable fabrics. I’m impressed with myself, not everybody can find what they are passionate about. My dream came from Rocking the Boat."

Thank you for helping to sustain and grow Rocking the Boat’s
youth development programs

Thank you for helping to sustain and grow Rocking the Boat’s
youth development programs



kids don’t just build boats, boats build kids

rocking the boat
812 edgewater road
bronx, ny 10474

info@rockingtheboat.org
phone: 718.466.5799
fax: 718.466.2892

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