Support youth education at sea in Los Angeles

image of students on sail boatNovember 22, 2017


Dear LAMI friends,

Los Angeles Maritime Institute exists for one reason and that reason is we are here for young people. Our “magic” is to use our skill, knowledge, incredible location, awesome vessels, partners, and donors to change lives. We have an impact on students of all walks of life but our main focus is on those students in the greater LA area that are economically disadvantaged.

Think back to your middle school years. Now imagine that you came from a family that lived within 10 miles of the California coast but because your family was so short of resources you had never been to the ocean. Never been on a boat. Never had a real family vacation. Now imagine the wonder as you leave your community and all of its problems temporarily behind. You and your classmates board Irving Johnson and/or Exy Johnson and you sail out of one of the busiest ports in the world. In addition to being blown away by the splendor of a traditional tall ship with 13 sails, you are seeing a potentially different future for yourself! Port pilots, tugboat operators, crane operators, commercial crews, captains, port police, port fire fighters, truck drivers, train engineers, longshoremen—any of these could be your new future.

Under way, your captain points the bow into the wind behind the historic Los Angeles Warehouse One and you hoist sail before falling off the wind and sailing out Angels Gate; leaving Los Angeles in your wake. While you are not old enough to drive a car you are now at the helm of a 128 ton tall ship heading for Santa Catalina Island or one of the other Channel Islands. Along the way you see massive container ships, cruise ships and tankers.

When you arrive at your evening’s anchorage you respond to the captain’s command to lay aloft and put the sails away by climbing the ratlines and laying out on the yards. You are now many stories above the water experiencing a perspective like none you have ever imagined. If my words have done justice to capturing the essence of what we provide, you will understand the profound impact our program has at the individual and group level.


The vast majority of the students that we serve are Title 1 which is the universal test for economically disadvantaged. This means that the family, and most likely the school have no financial resources to fund their participation with LAMI. This is why we have to raise at least two thirds of our annual budget through grants and donations. Our annual appeal is one of our most important activities for raising these funds.

We are delighted that again this year the Sherry Griswold Foundation along with the Kling Family Foundation has challenged all of us with a one for one match. The two foundations together will match your donation up to $20,000.00. We are encouraging everyone to make use of this opportunity and effectively double their donation.
I hope this appeal finds you and yours well and that you will be able to support our drive to positively impact as many area youth as possible; they are our future.



P.S. Please make use of the $20,000.00 dollar for dollar match before it expires on 12/31/2017.

Click here to download a PDF of our annual appeal letter.
Your gift will empower youth to discover their greater potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard the tall ships SSV Irving Johnson and SSV Exy Johnson, twin brigantines built to train and equip young people with 21st century leadership skills, and inspire life-long learning. Thank you!