LAMI – Maritime Youth Leadership Ambassadors (MYLA) of Wilmington

What is LAMI?

LAMI also known as the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to empower youth to discover their greater potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard educational sailing vessels built to train and equip youth with leadership skills, and inspire maritime and STEM career paths.

We have existed for over 30 years taking out about 7,000 youth a year on our three tall ships. We offer specialized programs, including the Explore the Coast/ Explora La Costa completely bi-lingual monthly sail for the members.


What are LAMI’s Maritime Youth Leadership Ambassadors of Wilmington?

This brand-new program involves students and youth 14-16 years of age, who reside or attend school in Wilmington. The program is 6 days total within the course of 1 year. There are 3-day sails with a following three-day weekend voyage to Catalina.

Activity #1 is an introduction to sailing a tall ship. Students and their family members learn how to set sails, climb up the rigging, navigate the ship, and other maritime skills. This will be a 4-hour long activity open to 28 students and 25 family members (of adult age).

Activity #2 teaches students and their families about Marine Ecology. There will be science stations covering marine biology, water chemistry, marine pollution, human impacts, and the upstream ecological connection that exists in the watershed. This will be a 4-hour-long activity open to 28 students and 25 adult family members.

Activity #3 is a Marine Career Paths activity, where guest speakers will talk to the youth and their families.

Participants will learn about and get to ask questions regarding specific career paths in the maritime industry, science, education, recreation, and conservation. This will be a 4-hour long activity open to 28 students and 25 adult family members.

The Weekend Voyage is a 3-day and 2-night trip; 28 students and 2 parents/community leaders will sail to Catalina Island and experience a Natural Area Trip. The group will be introduced to water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, as well as hiking the island. They will sleep onboard the ship, assisting with cooking, cleaning, and conducting night watches. All meals will be provided. Activity #1,#2, and #3 are mandatory and must be completed to be able to go on the Voyage. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Students will receive free transportation to and from the sail ships. Parents or guardians can pick up and drop off their children at 325 N Neptune Ave, Wilmington, 90744. Students will also be given free program gear: water bottles, t-shirts, hats, and a sailing logbook to complete while onboard.

How does this benefit my child?

Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program, which can be used on college, job, internship, and scholarship applications!

This program will also give your child a head start opportunity for school courses like Chemistry, Biology, Marine Biology, and Physics; as all of these subjects will be used and taught onboard the ship. Taking part in this program could also inspire and expose youth to pursue a new STEM career path. This bilingual program allows both students and parents to learn together.

Questions? Please contact me! Johanna Cervantes at 310.833.6055 or

This program is funded by the Outdoor Equity Grant Program, created through AB 209 and administered by California State Parks, Office of Grants and Local Services.


How old does my child have to be to participate in MYLA?

The Maritime Youth Leadership Ambassadors of Wilmington Program, is directed to youth ages 14-16 years of age. There is an exception for students who are 13 years old or 17 years old as long as they meet the age requirement in at least one of the Program Activities (Activity 1, Activity 2, Activity 3, or the Weekend Voyage).

What safety training does your crew have?

Our crew are first aid, CPR and lifeguard certified. All adult Los Angeles Maritime Institute crew, staff and volunteers have completed a US Department of Justice background check, including fingerprinting. All crew and staff have completed Youth Protection Training offered by the Boy Scouts of America.

What are the COVID and other safety practices?

To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all our campers, staff, and volunteers, we have adapted camp protocols to be aligned with best practices in the following areas:
Physical Distancing: Activities, games, and crafts will be developed with physical distancing in mind.
Face masks: Campers are encouraged to wear their masks as much as possible, especially at drop-off, pick-up, below decks, and during group-focused activities. Everyone on board will be asked to wash/replace masks daily.
Hygiene Practices: Discussion on hygiene will be held with campers and crew on the first day of camp, and at gatherings in the morning and afternoon as needed.
Wellness Screening: Campers will need to be COVID-19 tested 72-hours prior to boarding the ship. All campers will have their temperature monitored throughout the week, each morning and before dinner.


Swimming is encouraged, but participation will depend on the comfort level of the camper. It will occur under well-established safety protocols. Swimming will initially take place at a calm beach, where we will observe camper comfort with the water. Life jackets, wet suits, and floatation devices will be available and encouraged. Our crew are lifeguard certified.

What should campers bring?

We will provide a detailed list of what to bring. In summary, in a soft-sided duffle bag you should pack clothing and footwear for the vessel and shore, hat, toiletries, sunscreen, seasickness remedies and/or personal medications (as required), water bottle, flashlight, journal and/or reading material. Bedding (sleeping bag or blanket, pillow) may be packed separately, and rolled and tied up for transport.