5/27/2016 About the Author In the Community Subaru of America, Inc. supports the communities in which its employees live and work. To that end, the Subaru of America Foundation was established to focus on building community partnerships with organizations that share its drive and passion. Since its start in 1984, more than $9 million has been awarded through grants, scholarships, and matching employee contributions. Building Character and Confidence by Erik Gunn 5/27/2016 Subaru of America Foundation Helps Urban BoatWorks Inspire Kids Take inner city youth and put them together with an outdoor educator who is passionate about showing them the possibilities of the wider world. Then teach them to build … boats. That’s Urban BoatWorks, part of UrbanPromise in Camden, New Jersey, where for years volunteer Jim Cummings took kids on various outdoor trips, from New Jersey’s Pine Barrens to Maine to the Florida Everglades. Then he got a bigger idea. Building Vessels Supported by a grant from the Subaru of America Foundation, Urban BoatWorks has grown from five teens in 2009 to 60 students and 15 volunteers. Cummings is now the UrbanPromise director of experiential learning. The teens transform wood into canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and sailboats, then test them in the Cooper River. Urban BoatWorks isn’t so much an apprenticeship as a boot camp for problem solving, persistence, and craftsmanship, captured in its motto: Building character, one boat at a time. Launching Young Lives “Time passed a lot quicker in the shop than outside of it,” says former builder Chris Williams, now studying at Rutgers University. “Knowing that I played a part in crafting something that could be useful changed my relationship with work,” Williams muses. “My work breathed when I was in the shop.” Learn more about Urban Promise at urbanpromiseusa.org Urban BoatWorks teens transform wood into canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and sailboats.