Blog: November 2013
Go, Siani, Go! We cheered from the shoreline of the river's regatta course. We were watching the Frostbite Regatta,
the last regional rowing competition of the season with races for collegiate athletes and high schoolers. We were all there, her mom and dad, our staff, and volunteers from the Urban BoatWorks boat shop. Siani was rowing in the girls’ 2000-meter high school eights event as a member of the Cooper River Club Rowing Team.
Siani is a freshman at the UrbanPromise Academy and has participated in our BoatWorks program since she was a sixth grader at our middle school. By eighth grade she was part of the advanced build, crafting cedar strip canoes and kayaks for use in the UrbanTrekkers paddling program. Being on the water, paddling small boats and rowing, has become a familiar place for Siani, a place where she is a leader.
Watching her and her teammates propel their long sleek sculls through the water, pulling their oars together in cadence, I felt a special joy realizing that the vision of BoatWorks has become a reality. Siani embraced the river and developed a discipline and work ethic to realize a vision for her own life. Her days are long, school and practice till 6:00 PM everyday, with the exception of Thursday afternoons, when she’s in the boat shop where she first developed her sense of belonging in the world of paddling.
Siani isn't simply wishing for a bright future of college and career, she has chosen and pursues that future. Someone asked me a few years ago, "Why do you build boats with urban youth?" Here's my answer. Meet Siani.
Keep on Trekking,