The purpose of the Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless education is to identify and celebrate education providers who make all four of those principles – ‘STOP’ for short – work to help students succeed in their education and in life.
Building student success for the future is front and center on deck at SailFuture, the first STOP on the Yass Prize Finalist Road Show, which happened February 2, 2023 in St. Petersburg, Florida. There, our Founder Janine Yass and members of the team saw first hand how project-based learning focussed on careers like the maritime business and construction trades also results in exemplary education.
Just for context, SailFuture serves students in foster care, in trouble and at-risk youth, and many have an immediate family member that has been or is currently incarcerated. And yet they learn, despite a fraction of what the state spends on comparable kids. It’s not fair, we aim to help fix it, but meanwhile, take a look at this incredible tuition-free private school in action.
SailFuture, a 2022 Yass Prize finalist, offers a full time immersive lab experience 2 times per week in real world construction, maritime and culinary projects.
Students work with industry professionals and paid apprenticeships in 11th and 12th grade and graduate with industry certifications and an accredited high school diploma. Along with rigorous academics, this year round private high school is designed to teach problem solving in a dynamic hands-on learning environment. As we visited, we also learned about buoyancy, density and how what they do in rebuilding boats actually causes them to sail!
As Captain Tony explained: “The whole boat top to bottom is being redone and everyone on the team has their own duty and their own responsibilities. They’re learning how to do fiberglass filling and putty. They’re going to build a center console to be put back in there so that it’s ready to use for sailing class next time.”
SailFuture founder and CEO Mike Long summed up the school’s core strategy saying, “We want them to be ready with what the real world is going to hit them with every day. We want them to fail everyday, forward, to be the best professional they can be.”