In 1998 Captains Jim Gladson and Alice Robinson, co-founders of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, recognizing that young men and women relate best to others in their age group, created a “Youth Crew.” This volunteer program for ages 13-19 has become well established as a vital component of LAMI’s mission. Youth who have participated in the TopSail Program, either with their schools, Scout or Guide groups, churches, or other young people’s organizations, are invited to return on weekends or “after hours” to develop their skills and nourish the sense of empowerment that they first discovered aboard ship. We also welcome those from the community we serve, even if they were not previously involved in formal programs. A schedule of instruction and “hands-on” participation sailing one of LAMI’s tall ships is offered on a regular basis. As members of this crew, youth are able to develop their maritime skills and are invited to return to sail with the adult volunteer crew for weekend day sails and even longer voyages.
Youth Mission Statement
To provide a forum where youth can continue to overcome the challenges they face daily as young adults.
To provide an environment for critical thinking and decision making so youth are empowered for academic and life success.
All youth, ages 13-19, who demonstrate the need and keen interest in expanding their empowerment as a Youth Volunteer Mentor in the TopSail Program are welcome. The Youth Crew Program is designed to:
- Expand horizons by providing opportunities
- Develop vital decision making skills
- Instill a sense of responsibility
- Encourage resourcefulness
- Increase problem solving capabilities
- Promote self-motivated leadership
- Demonstrate the value and power of teamwork
- Advance organizational skills
- Build character
- Expand social interactions and skills
- Focus on the importance of future education
- Teach sailing skills
- Enhance safety awareness
- Provide an introduction to the maritime industry as an option for career development.
There is no cost to join the Youth Crew Program, but we do ask that youth commit to progress through their Sail Training Logbooks and represent the TopSail Youth Program at community events whenever possible. We also ask that their families make a minimum donation during our annual Membership Drive. Family memberships are only $40. In the case of a financial hardship, we will waive the membership fee.
If you are interested in becoming a member of our Youth Crew, recruit a parent or guardian to bring you to an orientation meeting. Orientation meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month from 10:00am – 11:00am (approximately). Once we’ve introduced LAMI’s programs to you and you have submitted your LAMI Volunteer Information Form, you are welcome to sail with us. You’ll be taught by your peers (under the supervision of adult crew leaders), and eventually, you’ll teach others – including students your age in our TopSail Youth program, as they voyage during the summer.
LAMI’s Youth Crew generally takes over a boat the first Saturday of the month. Check our online calendar to confirm, then email email@example.com or call our office at (310) 833-6055 to sign up and sail!