Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation launches Open Horizons Youth Sailing Program

By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Herald Intern

The Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation, an Illinois nonprofit that provides outreach, education, training and support for young people and adults in boating and water activities, has announced that it will be offering a free sailing camp as well as sailing scholarships for youth ages 8-18 during the summer.

The new Open Horizons Youth Sailing Program follows the JPYC Foundation’s creation last year of the Jimmy Webb Youth Sailing Scholarship Fund. Named after past Commodore of JPYC, the Jimmy Webb Youth Sailing Scholarship Fund provides free scholarships for sailing lessons to disadvantaged and at-risk youth on the South Side of Chicago. This year, the new program aims to expand these scholarships by creating a complete sailing course, including specific conflict resolution training, for Chicago’s youth, according to the JPYC Foundation.

“We are pleased to offer free scholarships to youth to participate in this sailing program. By teaching youth to sail we literally hope to open their horizons and help them to navigate a new course in their lives,” said JPYC Commodore Karen Harris in a statement. “Additionally, we believe that together, we can create the conditions for violence prevention and reduction in our city during the summer and we are pleased to be able to promote peace, build trust, and strengthen our community.”

The recently launched Open Horizons Youth Sailing Program was made possible thanks to the generous funding of several grants, including a three-year grant awarded by the TK Foundation, a private organization focused on enabling disadvantaged youth to succeed by promoting maritime education and safety, as well as and support from the Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities.

The program is scheduled to run from June to August and will consist of five sessions of two weeks, according to the JYPC Foundation. Classes will be held from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Instruction will take place in Jackson Park Outer Harbor in Lake Michigan and will include both classroom and hands-on, on-the-water activities.

According to Harris, the Open Horizons Youth Program can take approximately 15-20 students in each session or a total of 75-100 students over the summer. This is in addition to the JPYC’s regular paid Junior Sailing program, as well as the Chicago Park District’s youth sailing program which the Foundation hosts from its facility.

The JPYC Foundation will also be offering two to five Jimmy Webb Youth Sailing Scholarships this season for youth that don’t qualify for the Open Horizons program but still have a financial need for assistance.

To apply to the Open Horizons Youth Sailing Program, please visit: http://jacksonparkyachtclub.org/openhorizonsyou1.html

To apply to the Jimmy Webb Youth Sailing Scholarship, please visit: http://jacksonparkyachtclub.org/jimmywebbjuniors.html

To apply for the Junior Sailing Program (regular sailing camp/ with fee and cost) please visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yhG7qAtxfi7piH-zdAtTOKgPirsUlakcxEkWxpLDk9E/edit

Deadline for applications are June 11.

hpherald@hpherald.com