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Introducing the ICAN Foundation - an empowering at-sea mentor program for young adults

by I CAN Foundation 25 Aug 2021 12:11 UTC
Sean Ives introducing the ICAN Foundation ©

After learning that many young adults leave their foster homes without any resources, social support, or tools to navigate the challenges of transitioning to independent living, a passionate South African sailor and two sea-loving philanthropists developed the I CAN Foundation (I CAN) - a transformative at-sea mentor experience for young adults aging out of the U.S. foster care system.

Aboard the 100-foot circumnavigating vessel, Wisdom, the young adults are the crew—they sail the boat, handle watchkeeping, prepare meals, and perform other essential sailing tasks. Collaborating as a team, they achieve their sailing and first-aid certifications, scuba diving licenses and prepare for a brighter future ahead.

View an introduction to I CAN:

I CAN, the brainchild of Sean Ives and Kristi and Jeff Wisdom, builds on the fundamentals of "I CAN DO THIS!". The experience covers 5,000 nautical miles around the Caribbean, visits 17 unique destinations, and explores each destination's rich history and culture with local guides. The 90-day program includes ten orientation days, 80 days on the boat, 65 days of land-based excursions, and 24 days of actual sailing time.

"The purpose of I CAN is to teach resilience. It's all about attitude, teamwork, understanding yourself, and creating learning opportunities for our crew that they would not otherwise have. The sailboat is a platform for teaching our crew lessons that they will carry with them throughout their lifetimes." - Sean Ives, co-founder of the I CAN Foundation.

"Our goal is to provide these crew members with the skills they need to take the next step in their life journeys. Mentors involved in ocean research, conservation, and marine biology, to name a few, will visit the ship. We also explore careers in fields such as nursing, cooking, and mechanical engineering. After completing the program, we connect crew members with sponsor-based internship programs." - Jeff Wisdom, co-founder of I CAN and the Wisdom Family Foundation.

The first group of six young adult crew members and five mentors sets sail in January of 2022.

The I CAN Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Owner of All-Yachting based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and the Bahamas, Sean Ives is an experienced and passionate sailor from South Africa. A world traveler, Sean believes that sailing holds many essential life lessons and that when you put your mind to something, you can do it!

Jeff and Kristi Wisdom are co-founders of the Wisdom Family Foundation, a nonprofit launched in 2007. They are passionate about inspiring leaders and the next generation, investing in communities, building connections, and promoting healthy ways of living.

To learn more about the, I CAN Foundation and how you can get involved, visit the website here.

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