As they make their way up the East Coast, crew aboard Hōkūleʻa have the unique opportunity of connecting with organizations and individuals who are creating hope in the world.
Seaport Foundation in Old Town Alexandria accomplishes this by enriching the lives of young adults through their apprentice program.
Apprentice Program Lead, Evan Waksler said, “So our apprentice program is a 6 to 8 month program for young adults. We help 18-22 year olds facing difficulties in their life. 5hey come from a background that gives them barriers to achieving full time employment.What we do is we provide an opportunity for them to learn some skills, the hard skills like carpentry and the soft skills like communications and goal planning. And what we do is as they go through this program it is a chance for them to really learn, grow, and understand what their full potential is.”
Waksler said, “Programs like this are so important because they help people that otherwise might not receive the kind of the attention that they need. What I found in this program is that all of the young adults that come through here, they are great people, but what they have is they have difficulty doing or fulfilling the duties of a traditional employee or they donʻt have the background or skills to be able to have that you know three to five years experience that you need for a new job. So this is just a chance for them to get that.”
Crewmembers spent some time talking to apprentices — sharing their experiences from the Worldwide Voyage and finding commonalities between their work at Seaport Foundation and on Hōkūleʻa to educate and train a new generation.
Hōkūleʻa crewmember Mark Keʻala Kimura said, “I think it is very important that they give these young people a way to get started, a way to get into the industry, give them focus, teach them some life skills, some job skills that helps them become employable and a productive part of society.”
Kimura reflected, “I see the similarities and we are all looking down the same thing. Itʻs basically educating the next generation and giving them those skills so that they can take over the canoe, they can become the people responsible for Hōkūleʻa.”