St. Petersburg, Florida
Providing project-based experiences to students in maritime and outdoor environments, is, like the wind, the power in the students’ sails.
This innovative school model defines transformative learning. With a belief that schools should design themselves around student and family needs and not the other way around, Florida’s SailFuture Academy designed a learning environment where students within foster care, in trouble or at risk can gain education and access to employment through paid apprenticeships. This tuition-free entrepreneurship high school leverages project-based learning and paid apprenticeships to prepare students for successful careers by focusing on the maritime business in addition to culinary and construction experiences. Their full project-based curriculum allows students to drive their own education solving real-world problems.
This is not just a school. It’s a learning ecosystem that literally takes high school age students around the world to refocus and repair what education should be for students who have revolted against their education.
We are quite literally breaking the cycles of poverty and abuse and paving pathways to economic freedom and social mobility.
Why they stand out
How they STOP for education
Three school-owned social enterprises employ students in paid apprenticeships and also generate net income for the school. Last year, the enterprises donated $150,000 representing 25 percent of the school’s operating budget.
Students are eligible for the state’s wide variety of Family Empowerment and publicly-funded scholarships.
Transformation doesn’t even begin to describe the integration of project-based learning and experiences that are motivating students to return and persist in education and career success.
Winning their award
SailFuture hopes to soon be a second family and to offer a second chance to more than 1,000 students across Florida including a brick and mortar campus in Tampa, deepening the repository of projects available to students and opening a second site in Hillsborough county to be a solution for those families plus adding more sailing expeditions – to learning seamanship, and services projects in the ports of call – particularly for students who do not attend the academy.
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