Frequently Asked Questions

What type of youth does your organization work with?

The ideal teen for Sail2Change has some, if not all of these defining factors:        

- Is a current high school student
- Has emotional complications
- Has behavioral complications
- Is frequently truant
- Has low-academic performance
- Tends to experience a disconnection from the traditional school environment
- Comes from a low-income family
- Has not experienced much of the outdoors or sailing
- Does not know what they want to do for a career or does not have clearly defined interests to lead them in the direction of a fulfilling career
- Feels isolated, does not have many friends, supportive family, and/or sense of community
- Does not participate in leadership roles
- Has low self-esteem
- Is a teen parent
- Is or has been in the foster care system 

What is your goal for students?

After a teen has completed our program, our hopes are that the student:
- Feels a grand sense of accomplishment and confidence in his/her/their identity and individuality
- Is engaged in the community we have created around Sail2Change, knowing they have genuinely caring relationships to support them
- Has greater, in-depth knowledge of possible careers, especially those in the maritime and marine science fields
- Has clearly defined interests and goals for a career path

- Graduates high school or attains their General Educational Development (GED) certificate

- Has a plan for at least the first year after high school

- Takes on leadership roles while knowing how to work well on a team

- Is a steward of the land and sea

- Knows how to handle stressful situations in a healthy way

- Improves their grades and attendance since joining us

- Has or will experience opportunities they may not have had without participating

with us, including job shadowing, internships, recreation events, connections to further career development programs and/or college courses

- Completes the 12 hours of volunteer work each year, finding a sense of service and compassion through it

- Knows how to sail and has opportunities to practice their skills 

- Is excited and optimistic about the future! 

How much does your program cost?

We rely on the generous support of donors so that we can offer all our programs free to students and their families!

How long is the program?

Ideally, we would like to meet youth in 9th grade so that we can see them through graduation and into their first year of life after high school, but we have the same opportunities for anyone of high school age.

Our program is broken down into smaller sections, that when put together, play out a holistic plan for youth success. 


We have our Beginners Sailing course with Willamette Sailing Club which lasts for 10 days, with a total of 70 hours of learning completed by the end of it.

Does my child have to be enrolled in school to participate?

No. As long as your child is the same age as current 9th graders (14/15 years old), up to the age of 12th graders (17/18), and meets some of the requirements of our “ideal student,” we will happily integrate them into our program. Part of what we do is help students get back on track to graduate or fulfill their GED requirements.

Why sailing?

Our founder, Dieter Waiblinger, has been sailing for decades and saw how the sport can teach many life skills, including teamwork, leadership, and communication, all wrapped up into a fun, hands on experience that gives a sense of freedom and a connection to nature. Dieter saw how sailing could bring previously separate parties together on an even playing field where they had to work together, leaving feeling allied. Plus, the sport is known to be dominated by older, wealthy, white people, and we are here to change that definition!

EMAIL: info@sail2change.org

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EIN 82-5281174