We hope this appeal finds you well. Because of you, we are well and very busy.
It is easy to be distracted by all that is before us in our communities: homelessness, hyper-partisanship, the future of work, trade wars, immigration, energy sources, plastics in the ocean, social justice, climate change, citizenship, and the list goes on.
For us, our mission is clear, the better we prepare our youth, regardless of their circumstances, the better they will be able to successfully navigate all of the issues confronting us as a society.
Our programs are designed and delivered by our passionate, driven, and inspiring crew to increase young peoples’ self-reliance and self-confidence, develop their leadership and communication skills, awaken their connection to the environment, and prepare them with Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) foundational instruction. These are core competencies necessary for our youth and our society to be more resilient to the unpredictable times ahead.
For the last six years, Los Angeles Maritime Institute has seen sequential growth in the number of student sailing days and is now well over 7,000 per year. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to meeting the positive development needs of the youth in our underserved communities. To do our part, LAMI is expanding our transformative programs and aims to more than double our services to young people– committing in our five-year strategic plan to increase the number of annual student sailing days to over 15,000 by 2023. To achieve this ambitious goal, LAMI is growing its capacity, including the number of educational tall ships in our fleet. After two and a half years of restoration, the three-masted schooner American Pride received her USCG Certificate of Inspection, COI, and became operational on March 11, 2019. We have quickly ramped up her services to students since. LAMI has also made exceptional progress in the reconstruction of the organization’s original educational tall ship, the Swift of Ipswich, with the launch of the vessel on December 6, 2019. We anticipate her returning to service before the end of next year.
One life lesson learned onboard a sailboat is that the path from point A to point B is seldom a straight line– it requires course corrections due to encounters with changing winds, unfavorable seas, and unexpected hazards. This experience is not unique to sailing at sea– we all adjust to unforeseen circumstances as we navigate toward our goals. As a nonprofit organization, LAMI is particularly sensitive to the adjustments our supporters need to make due to their situations, whether it is government rollbacks or funding priority shifts for foundations. As a seasoned sailor sets their eye on the horizon, LAMI remains steadfast in our mission and our commitment to our youth. We are prepared to respond to these changing conditions with agility, innovation, and care. It is from our commitment to grow our capacity to meet the critical needs of young people that our appeal to you, our supporters, takes on particular importance this year.
We take significant pride in the positive impact LAMI is having and are keenly aware of the ever-increasing challenges life presents to our young people. LAMI is motivated by a passionate disquiet to do more. We hope you will join us to celebrate our accomplishments and also help us continue to empower our youth and prepare them for the future with a generous donation during our annual appeal.
PS. And yes the Swift of Ipswich did float and with your continued support she will soon have “kids on deck”!