MVP Helm Report: March 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

The March winds blew and that brought white knuckles excitement to MVP students who are now learning how to sail. After a few false starts and close encounters with boats and trees - we finally made it out of the Lagoon into the open ocean! At first there were signs of fear when strong gusts would fill the sails and tip the boat, but then came the understanding that we were in control and that sailing can be a fun experience. In fact so much fun, it has called for the addition of a Thursday 'after-school' sailing session and everyone is showing up! After lunch this past Saturday, we took the sailboat, row boat and rubber dingy (w/outboard motor) over to Happy Island where the student's worked on multiple skills by trading positions with others. Note in the photo that everyone has something in their hands, even the photographer!

It's not all fun in the sun either. MVP students are also busy perfecting the assembly line cooking of W.I. Pates. On Saturday, May 1st. (rain or shine) we'll be in the office parking lot selling pates of beef, veggies and saltfish to passing drivers. Students will be raising money for the program and sharing tips. Working positions will be a manager, cashier, food runners, pastry chefs and line cooks. The effort is about raising a few bucks while also bringing about public awareness to the program. Best is, it will engage student minds on how a business can be developed with a well thought-out process and a team effort. The hope is to do this on the first Saturday of each month and we invite our friends in the food service industry to help supervise the startup. Readers, stop by for a tasty treat!

Don't sell it - Donate It: The MVP is a a 501 c-3 non-profit and several times we've received the donations of boats and motors that were either used for training or were sold off to support the program. We can also take in the donations of cars and trucks that are in good working condition. Donors receive a tax letter and feel good knowing they've contributed to a youth program that is offered free of charge. To continue our growth, we'll need funding and we are willing to work at it! See 'For Sale' page on the MVP's website at: Sale Items.

Summer Programming: The MVP operates year round without missing a beat! We'll be accepting new students in early June and will be adding on Tuesday to our Thursday/Saturday schedule. The hope is between now and summer we'll have raised the funding for the purchase of two smaller sailing craft (Optimist size) and the $$$ needed to pay a part-time sailing instructor. New students (ages 10-18) are taken in on a first come basis.

Community: The MVP's curriculum includes teaching what we term Community, which basically means learning to take pride in the island. Yearly we plant flowering trees and do roadside trash removal to instill a sense of responsibility and further - students are taught to offer up positive ideas for improvement, similar to the planting of 'seeds' that might someday take root. The real hope is this teaching will provide guidance into careers of leadership. See ideas at: Community

There is talk of the cruiseships sailing again and the islands are currently flooded with vacationers who are taking advantage of cheap airfares - things are looking up!

Straight Ahead!

Jimmy Loveland, Program Director