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Afterguard Youth Programs

About This Cause:

ASA Youth Academy - ASAYA obtained 501(c)3 status as the non-profit branch of Afterguard Sailing Academy, LLC, in February 2022. Afterguard was founded in 2003 by Mary Swift, as a business to support the cause of facilitating access to sailing for at-risk inner-city high school students. In 2006, following Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)’s approach to provide sailing internship opportunities for physical education and elective credits, Afterguard officially launched its Youth Program, Destination Graduation. Activities have run continuously since then, except for the C19 pandemic shutdown. Since 2006, we have developed a long-standing partnership with OESZA, Oakland’s Emiliano Zapata Street Academy (an OUSD school). At the moment, this internship has been temporarily paused at the school’s request, until funding can be procured to reinstate the program. In 2022, we have initiated a new collaboration with ARISE Charter High School, serving roughly 24 students per year through academic internships. We nurture the hope of re-instating OEZSA’s participation, and accommodating additional schools that have expressed interest in joining the enrichment and internship programs with ASAYA. Our non-profit has also expanded to include Summer Camps: instruction is assisted by students from the high school program, with 50% of summer camp participant tuition rates being subsidized for low-income families.

Most of our programs have been funded and supported by Afterguard's adult and open enrollment ASA sailing courses. Our hope for the future is that we can extend this opportunity to other underprivileged high-schools who have asked for this program and help fund the upkeep of our fleet of sailing instruction vessels. Additionally, we would like to offer more paid staff-teaching positions in service of this youth program, and provide sailing education opportunities to teachers, to keep the program alive in the future.

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Please donate toward an endowment for youth sailing:

Mission Statement:

We deliver sailing education to expand the horizons of inner city youth and break the hold of gangs and parents who may not know what opportunities are available after high school. We call our youth program "Destination Graduation", with the aim of getting youth out of their 3 block neighborhoods, and providing a new way to enter the world as adults with more confidence. By teaching these youth to sail, we teach leadership and teamwork skills, risk management, and responsibility through skippering or being crew-mates for a peer group aboard a boat. This is a whole new way to view their world and get excited about what awaits them after high school. We also take them on field trips to introduce them to CSU Cal Maritime Academy, Bar Pilots, and to see the SF Bay Model. We spend numerous hours observing those who's professions are on the water, in and around the Port of Oakland.

"Destination Graduation" is an mentoring incentive program; as long as the students maintain a C average during freshman through junior year, they can participate in our sailing program and in-turn will be more likely to graduate high school. Most go that extra mile to make it to the podium as a result of the encouragement and confidence gained in the program. While in the sailing program, students are allowed to attain progressive ASA certification levels at not cost to the students. Youth also receive high school credit with Oakland Unified School District for attending these courses. Afterguard gives first job employment opportunities at our school, to those who excel and want to try working summer jobs/part time/or after the program. Students and former students must stay in college/trade-school/junior college to work with us part time, with a career goal in mind.

We ask each student 'Which college they plan to go to' on our very first session, and encourage them to apply for scholarships throughout our time with them. We show interest, and support their efforts to reach for their educational goals as well as teaching them to sail.

Please donate toward an endowment
for Veterans sailing:

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Afterguard encourages Veterans, who have given so much for our beautiful country, to contact the office to see how you can volunteer or try sailing to see if it is for you a stress relief that can shift your gears to home life.

Become an Afterguard volunteer! Contribute your time to youth sailing!

Is sailing important to you?

Do you have spare time and would like to volunteer as crew?

Do you have skills to help work on boats that need love?

Do you have any special skills that would benefit our nonprofit?

Contact us at 510-535-1954 or email if you would like to help us. Volunteers can earn personal use of our fleet of boats. Please contact us for more details.
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