After a two year Covid hiatus, Clearwater proudly welcomed the return of their Young Women at the Helm youth empowerment program last week. Participants ranged from ages 14-18 years, joining Clearwater from NYC, Westchester, Beacon, Poughkeepsie, and New Jersey. This entirely donor-funded program is designed to empower young women by engaging them in a wide range of physical and academic activities. Onboard, participants learned and practiced sailing deck skills, knot tying, coiling lines, and navigation. They also learned about the Hudson River through a variety of lenses, including water quality, ecology, and Indigenous Peoples.
In the evening, the group had a sunset seine on the beach in Alpine and camped on shore, where they shared reflections on the day, asked crew questions about Clearwater, sailing, college, career paths, and of course, they sang together.
Participant Samantha L. said, “Everyone here is so different, which meant that every conversation was different and I got to learn a lot more.” Samantha continued, “I never thought I would feel so in touch with myself and with the earth that I do now. Being on this boat and camping gives a lot of time to just stop and take in the world around you, which we don’t get often in regular life. I’ve definitely grown as a person and had so much fun trying new things.”
The program was led by Outreach and Engagement Manager Amali Knobloch, First Mate Fredi Guevara-Prip, Captain Annika Savio, Program Director Ruthie Gold, and the entire crew of the Clearwater.
Program Director, Ruthie Gold commented on this year’s program, “It was amazing to see the transformation of our participants from shy, quiet, teens, to funny, bright, passionate-about-the-River friends in a matter of hours! We are thrilled that we were able to share the magic of the Hudson and the Clearwater with these young women and look forward to offering Young Women at the Helm and our other Youth Empowerment Programs next summer.”