Sailing Offers New Life Choices for Youth at Rocking the Boat

Kinney Glass, pictured back left, of Rocking the Boat (Bronx, N.Y.).

For the past 12 years, community programs like Rocking the Boat (Bronx, N.Y.), a US Sailing accredited community sailing center, have proven the power of sailing to lift kids onto a new track with the skills and confidence to build fulfilling lives.

The outcomes achieved at Rocking the Boat are inspiring. For their student, Kinney Glass, sailing has delivered a new life and purpose. When he moved from rural Georgia to the Bronx at the age of 16, he said goodbye to the peace and solace he’d found in his home state’s natural environment. He also said goodbye to his older brother who is serving a 48-year sentence in a Georgia prison.

Kinney’s new life in the distressed Hunts Point neighborhood held many of the same pitfalls that claimed his brother. When his friends started testing the edge, he read the signs and jumped onto a different track by signing-up for Rocking the Boat’s On-Water program. “I was trying to not get in trouble,” says Kinney.

Kinney’s life has been defined by that choice. He continued-on to become a US Sailing certified instructor teaching Bronx kids to sail and, after graduating from high school, went to work for a renowned City Island sail making loft. It wasn’t long before the loft’s clientele started inviting Kinney to crew for regattas and deliver boats for them, including his first ocean passage.

Although sailing offered a new world of career choices to Kinney, he jumped at the chance to return to Rocking the Boat. Today at 26 years old, Kinney is the full-time Programs and Operations Assistant. One of Kinney’s co-workers says, “all the kids want to be the next Kinney.”

Programs like Rocking-the-Boat prove that our sport’s most powerful lessons – confidence, resilience, perseverance and teamwork – provide young sailors with tools to take-on life’s challenges and opportunities successfully.