Piers Park Sailing’s Summer Programs off to a Good Start

It’s almost halfway through the summer and kids from East Boston and surrounding communities have been having the time of their lives at Piers Park Sailing Center’s (PPSC) summer programs.

“In total we will have over 850 kids come through our programs this summer including through our partnerships with Camp Harbor View, Boston Public Schools, Save the Harbor Save the Bay, and Salesian Boys & Girls Club,” said PPSC Executive Director Alex DeFronzo. “We have 41 people on staff right now, the largest group of instructors we have ever had, and all of them are PPSC youth program alumni.  The sustained support of Massport and the East Boston Foundation have allowed us to keep the program a maximum fee of $25 for East Boston youth.”

A group of youth head out to the harbor on the Red Jacket as part of Piers Park Sailing Center’s summer program. Over 850 kids participated through its programs this summer.

DeFronzo said that part of what makes each summer sailing season special is the relationship between students, future leaders and staff.

“A crucial element of this programming is the mentorship that takes place from student, to Future Leader Trainee, to Staff Instructor,” said Defronzo. “Our entire organization, from Board Chair to First Year Future Leader is comprised of former youth program participants.  We are proud to have a staff reflective of, and dedicated to our community.”

DeFronzo said PPSC has been really lucky to have the space they have and to be able to keep growing the program. 

“It is really fun to see such a huge group of kids sailing back into the cove after a trip to one of the harbor islands every Friday,” said DeFronzo. “We have a new group of Future Leaders training to become instructors this year too, so we will be keeping the tradition of mentoring up the next generation of leadership at PPSC through our programs.”

DeFronzo said he was incredibly excited to announce that PPSC has formed a new partnership with Camp Harbor View on Long Island. The PPSC team has taken on sailing operations at the camp’s Boston’s Island of Opportunity program.

“Since 2007, Camp Harbor View has provided Boston Youth with exposure to possibilities of a future they may have never envisioned,” said DeFronzo. “Our PPSC staff offers a variety of programs that focus on teaching campers the fundamentals of sailing while emphasizing valuable soft skills that support their holistic development. Through this partnership, about 300 young people will learn to sail this summer at Camp Harbor View with the program spending over 200 hours on the Boston Harbor.”

DeFronzo added that PPSC is very proud to be in our third season of sailing with Triangle, an incredible local nonprofit that empowers people with disabilities and their families to enjoy rich, fulfilling lives by getting out in the community and working together.

At the beginning of the month a group of 12 sailors graduated from PPSC six week on-the-water program. 

“The growth in confidence and esteem during the program was wonderful, from timid first day on-boarding to assertive last day captaining the helm,” said DeFronzo. “Adaptive programming for sailors with disabilities is doing really well with partnerships ongoing with the Bedford VA, Triangle Inc, Boston Public Schools, Charlestown Waterfront Coalition, PATH-WAY, and several disability commissions. We have added new equipment this summer to make transfers to and from the boats easier.  We are also looking forward to a seniors sailing day in partnership with the Social Centers August 27.”

DeFronzo said Eastie families should keep a sharp lookout for Sailing After School program registration which will open in a couple weeks.

2019 PPSC Staff

Joey Bosco – Winthrop, MA

Elizabeth Collins

– Winthrop, MA

Matthew Crystal

– East Boston, MA

Alex DeFronzo

– East Boston, MA

Jane Derderian

– Winthrop, MA

Catherine Domina

– East Boston, MA

Declan Donovan

– Winthrop, MA

Nicholas Drevos

– Winthrop, MA

Giulia Fenton

– Dorchester, MA

Ali Frehani

– Winthrop, MA

Nicole Forina

– East Boston, MA

Alejandro Gomez Catano

– Revere, MA

Sophia Gomez

– Chelsea, MA

Gabriela LoContro

– East Boston, MA

Dina Mahmoud

– East Boston, MA

Carlos Martinez

– East Boston, MA

Kayla Olmedo Miranda

– East Boston, MA

Erick Morales

– East Boston, MA

Daniel Moreno

– East Boston, MA

David Moreno

– East Boston, MA

Justin Mullen

– Revere, MA

Ashley Munguia

– Boston, MA

Jasmine Nijjar

– East Boston, MA

Claire Ohman

– East Boston, MA

Therese Ohman

– East Boston, MA

Maya Pan

– East Boston, MA

Harley Petrillo

– Revere, MA

Dante Pina

– Revere, MA

Cameron Pozark

– Saugus, MA

Karen Ruiz Moreno

– East Boston, MA

Garrett Ruszkowski

– Saugus, MA

Bashir Sahrour

– Revere, MA

Omar Sahrour

– Revere, MA

Lily Skomro

– Winthrop, MA

Samuel Sullivan

– East Boston, MA

Arujun Surenthra

– Malden, MA

Nathan Thomas

– East Boston, MA

Daniel Tracy

– Winthrop, MA

Manuela Villa Gomez

– Chelsea, MA

Adam Vitale

– East Boston, MA

Ayat Walid

– Winthrop, MA

Future Leaders

Bryant Nguyen

– Everett, MA

Gina Forbes

– East Boston, MA

Sofia Lynds

– East Boston, MA

Tennyson Dwyer

– Chelsea, MA

Nate Nadow

– Chelsea, MA

Libby Carney

– Winthrop, MA

Chloe Renik

– Chelsea, MA

Alexa Puopolo

– East Boston, MA

Audrey Valys

– Winthrop, MA

Adam Housni

– Malden, MA

Thomas Warman

– Winthrop, MA

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