Their crew of formerly incarcerated teens is now training for a 2,700-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean. Follow their story by signing up for updates. Here's the most recent status report from the program's founder and executive director, Michael Long:
Right now, five of America's highest-risk juvenile offenders are on board 'SV' Defy The Odds somewhere between Spain and Morocco. They left everything they've ever known for the opportunity to transform their lives.
In 26 days, they will race 2,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean against 217 other sailboats crewed by 1,200 of the world's most experienced sailors.
A weekly video series takes a deep look into the lives of our crew and explores how they landed in the justice system. Join us for the chaos, progress and beauty of these young men working to transform their lives and come together as a team to win the 2015 Atlantic Rally.
Watch the program overview and first episodes below.
(12 Nov 2015) After an emotional week filled with tough conversations, Dee, Pluto, Ridge, Tyler and Gavin have returned to the United States.
Lying, stealing, and a lack of willpower led us to decide that we weren't a strong enough team to compete in the race across the Atlantic Ocean. We could not sacrifice safety and ignore warning signs for the sake of the story.
Our mission was to create a transformational experience that would lead to transformational life changes for some of America's highest-risk juvenile offenders. We believe we did that.
Ridge had never left his reservation in Peach Springs, Arizona before embarking on his journey with SailFuture and visiting 5 different countries and 25 cities.
Dee and Pluto were fresh out of jail with no direction. After 100 hours of work shops and life coaching sessions, they have a path forward. In a few weeks Dee and Pluto will move into a SailFuture donor's home in Florida to begin working and apply to attend college at the University of South Florida.
Tyler and Gavin came into the program with uncontrollable anger and fought violently or escaped from every program they have been placed in. We had 0 violent incidents on board and we are proud they have developed new ways to cope with conflict and anger.
We're working with each of the guys to start their transition plans early. If you can assist with job placement or temporary housing, reach out to Mike at MLong@sailfuture.org
As for SailFuture, we'll be debriefing with partners, staff, and youth to evaluate lessons learned, and we are already preparing for the next SailFuture Odyssey program in late April.
Starting in mid January, we are offering unbelievably affordable weeklong vacation in the Caribbean onboard SV Defy the Odds. We encourage you to grab some friends and join us for a week: http://www.sailfuture.org/itinerary/
All of us at SailFuture, staff and students, have felt an extreme sense of community, love, and support from your facebook comments, emails, and phone calls. Thank you for being part of this journey and standing by us through both the calms and the rough seas.