Diane McKinney is the Founder and Executive Director of Able to Sail. The organization was founded to help youth identify and negate self-defeating thoughts of "not-enoughness". The 10-week, youth empowerment camp generally attracts about 200 participants. This year, the camp had less than 100 participants because of COVID. The cost is $345/week for participants that can pay, but scholarships are available.
The 20-point curriculum focuses on sailing analogies as the basis for changing negative thinking. The camp arms participants with compassion and kindness, and encourages kids to let go of the past and look to the future. The organization does not only work with at-risk students, but reaches out to the "lookin' good kids", who are dying on the inside...something you would not know by looking at them.
Diane reiterated that our beliefs are ingrained and drive our behavior. One of the exercises that participants engage in is answering the question "What does it feel like to be you today?" Over 85% of the responses are negative and reflect feelings like "I don't belong", "I don't fit in", and "people don't like me". The camp teaches participants self-esteem...a skill that must be taught and practiced.
For more information, contact Diane McKinney at diane@abletosail.org.