|important dates: nov. 4 - parent night | dec. 16 - end of semester celebration|
Rocking the Boat is pleased to announce the arrival on staff of a new Social Worker and a new On-Water Program Director. Elizabeth Lindgren, LMSW, and Rachel Daugherty started in October and January and have already significantly boosted the organization's capacity to run exceptional programming for young people in the South Bronx. It is great to have them on board.
Liz's academic background includes a Master of Social Work degree from New York University's clinical program and a BSW from Providence College. She has worked with New York City high school-aged youth in different capacities and immediately prior to joining Rocking the Boat was a Program Manager for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Workplace Mentoring Program where she supported mentoring relationships between students and employees at different companies in the city and helped students prepare for life after high school. Liz also spent a year working for Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast through AmeriCorps where she led groups of volunteers on house construction sites and gained an appreciation for the building process. Areas of focus for Liz so far have been individual case work, all aspects of the college application process, and the development of new evaluation tools and a new evaluation process for Apprentices, which has been piloted this spring. According to Liz, "Joining Rocking the Boat has been tremendous. In addition to switching up my entire New York City experience by being able to get out on the water and enjoy the outdoors regularly, I have been so impressed by the students, Apprentices, PAs and staff who have already taught me so much...including learning to row! I'm excited for all of the awesome trips that are planned for this spring and summer as well as continuing to work closely with the Apprentices."
Rachel brings a wealth of sailing and creative teaching experience to the Rocking the Boat team. Raised in Arkansas, Rachel was recruited to sail at Fordham University in the Bronx, where she was captain of the women's and coed sailing teams before graduating with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish Literature. Formerly Executive Director of the nonprofit Community Sailing of Colorado, Rachel serves as a Board member of the U.S. Sailing Community Sailing Council and has sailed and coached sailing and racing in New Orleans, Key West, the British Virgin Islands, and Newport. She knows first-hand the positive effect that sailing can have on young people from the years spent working in the Bermuda public schools on Waterwise, an outreach sailing program. Her incredible experience exposing students to a sport they might not otherwise have become involved in—integrating it into their school curriculum and affording it great meaning in their lives—is something she looks forward to reliving working at Rocking the Boat. Among Rachel's activities for the spring semester are teacher training sessions for Program Assistants, revving up the sailing program, and incorporating more teambuilding exercises into her program. "Joining Rocking the Boat has been a great homecoming for me," says Rachel. "I'm so excited to get back out on the water in the Bronx. The students and staff have blown me away in terms of their passion and knowledge. I'm thrilled to be a part of Rocking the Boat, and can't wait for all the great things everything we'll accomplish together this season."
In addition to the program staff changes, Rocking the Boat has recently elected a new President, Dustin Goodwin, and voted five new members onto its Board of Directors. Dustin is a two-year veteran of the Board and one of the most active members. He energetically supports Rocking the Boat's two annual fundraising events, Rocking Manhattan in the fall (his Team Half Moon has twice won the top fundraising honors) and Whitehall Award in the spring. A director for The Blackstone Group's Informational Technology division by day, Dustin loves working with young people and being on the water in his free time.
Michael Robinson is a new Board member but a familiar face around Rocking the Boat, having served as a regular volunteer in the shop and on the water for the past five years. Mike has a lifetime of boating expertise and puts his former career in Sales and Marketing in the home textile industry to use building Rocking the Boat's network. Karen Carter is also a new Board member with a long Rocking the Boat history: three of her six children have been Rocking the Boat students! In Karen, an administrator at the New York City Department of Education, Rocking the Boat is glad to have its first community member serving on the Board.
Brand new voices on the Board include Michelle Kraemer, Director of Strategic Accounts at Buddy Media, who experienced the community-building spirit of boating first-hand through a 210-mile canoeing adventure down the Connecticut River. Even before joining the Board, Michelle rowed and fundraised for Rocking Manhattan; she chaired this spring's Whitehall Award. Frosty Montgomery's professional background in marketing, publicity, and real estate make her a wonderful ambassador for Rocking the Boat. She grew up on the water and is moved by the stories of young lives changed for the better through the Boatbuilding and On-Water programs. Frosty has already participated in two special events and headed the Auction Committee for the Whitehall Award. The Board's newest addition is Tanya Ramos, former Executive Director of Literacy Inc., a Manhattan-based nonprofit that promotes reading in low-income communities. Tanya was Adam's classmate in the 2009 Columbia Institute for Not-for-Profit Management Executive Program, and will bring great non-profit perspective to her Board service.
Students in Rocking the Boat's Boatbuilding Program launched the iceboat dubbed Frostbite in February.
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