Adam Green believes in teaching 21st century job and life skills through old fashioned wooden boat building.

The idea first infected him as a Vassar College student in 1996, when he spent a “semester abroad” volunteering at a middle school in East Harlem—one of the U.S.’s poorest urban neighborhoods at the time. Despite having no prior boat building experience, he worked with students to make “Dolphin,” an 8 foot wooden dinghy which was launched in the school swimming pool.

After graduating, Green returned to New York City with a certificate to teach, but gave up that plan to launch Rocking the Boat—a boat building and environmental education program which now serves 2,000 youth and community members annually in the South Bronx. The aim is not to turn kids into professional boat builders, but to help them recognize abilities they possess that will help them thrive in school and beyond.

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