Sisters Under Sail- flag
This past Monday, January 30th, Dawn Santamaria, the Executive Director of Sisters Under Sail and recipient of the 2011 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, will be presenting a new initiative for daughters of our Nations’ serving men and women at the Tall Ships America Conference in Newport.
Daughters of U.S. military, ages 13 – 18, whose parent is either Active Duty or on Active Status, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard, have been invited to sail onboard Tall Ship Unicorn this summer to honor their parents’ service for our country.
Sisters Under Sail is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching teen girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training aboard Unicorn – the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world. Sisters Under Sail and its sponsorship partners will award several scholarships to eligible teens for a six-day passage and the adventure of a lifetime. Preference will be awarded to girls whose parent is deployed at the time of application or voyage.
Launching this initiative from the United States Military Academy in West Point on June 16th, Unicorn plans to visit ports throughout the Long Island Sound andNew England – sailing as the only sail training organization to specifically target these teens for leadership development.
Sponsors for this initiative include New York and New Jersey regional alumni clubs from The University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. Representatives from the United States Military Academy and Washington DC-based organization, Military Families United, will sit on the scholarship selection committee along with the alumni sponsors.
Santamaria, Founder and Executive Director of Sisters Under Sail, wants to recognize U.S. Military daughters because “these teens face the difficulty of having a parent deploy for months on end to protect and fight for our country. They are brave, and they deserve the opportunity to hone their leadership skills in a supportive adventure-filled environment. We at Sisters Under Sail want to show our appreciation for their courage in the face of adversity. These girls are an inspiration for all of us.”
Sisters Under Sail helps teen girls and women of all ages build confidence, enhance their self-esteem, develop social conscience and learn the value of sisters working together towards a common goal through sail training. Sisters was established in 2005, through the inspiration of Dawn Santamaria’s family’s experience sailing aboard their tall ship, the Unicorn. Her four daughters, one of whom is a military spouse and serves as Director of Programs for Military Families United, all discovered their leadership potential on-board the Unicorn.
Since inception, Sisters Under Sail has put aboard over 450 teenage girls and 250 women, and 45% of those teenage girls have shipped aboard the Unicorn via sponsorship dollars. The Unicorn is Sisters Under Sail’s “experiential learning lab” for her leadership programming.
To apply for a week-long program aboard the Unicorn, for more information regarding eligibility or to inquire about Sisters Under Sail’s sail training programs for women of all ages, please visit the organization’s website or contact Dawn Santamaria directly. Donations to support this leadership opportunity for teens of our US Military can be made via the www.sistersundersail.org home page or Help Girls become Leaders – Support Sisters Under Sail Cause page on Facebook.