“This program will change students’ lives and their way of learning.”
– Michael Gass, Ph.D., LMFT
director of outdoor education, University of New Hampshire
who FUEL serves
Graduates of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket high schools, gap-year students, college students, lifelong learners.
Aboard our sailing ship learners discover their personal potential.
Alumni leading meaningful, ethical lives that make a positive impact on our world.
100% of your investment goes toward building the ship for this program.
Why is the FUEL program important?
When it comes to education, most people find that high school and college are not enough to prepare them for their lives ahead. The FUEL program helps young people complete their education by offering a transformative journey in which they discover their personal potential.
We know how hard it is to find inspiration from sitting through long, boring lectures. That is why we take learners outside of the traditional classroom and give them an unforgettable and life-changing adventure. After navigating across oceans on a world-voyaging sailing ship your education starts working for you. You gain the abilities to problem solve and think for yourself and the confidence and enthusiasm to live a meaningful life.
The FUEL program was created by Ian Ridgeway and Casey Blum with 30 years collective experience educating young people aboard sailing ships. Before completing her dual master's degree in outdoor education and social work at the University of New Hampshire Casey was the first female captain of the sailing ship Alabama. Ian learned to sail under Captain Bob Douglas on Shenandoah and Alabama and went on to captain these sailing ships for over 8 years training 2 captains, 7 first mates, and countless crew. Our advisory board is made up of world renowned experts in the varied fields that contribute to this unique program including experiential learning, outdoor education, study abroad, deep sea voyaging, conventional sailing, ship design, and fundraising. Our team has come together for this project because we know the positive and profound transformation that happens to people during a voyage on a big sailing ship, and we want to share that with you.
Onboard our sailing ship learners will engage in the same tasks that the professional crew and officers do and gain the same confidence. They will see more of the world in 3.5 months than most people see in their entire lives. They will earn college credits as well as maritime certifications and licensing. They will build a foundation of practical skills that will help them the rest of their lives.
People learn best when they are outside of their comfort zones and being challenged. If you are only tested in school on paper then your potential will be limited to classrooms and test scores. However, once you understand your personal potential your education starts working for you. People who know their potential live meaningful, ethical lives. Invest in FUEL’s development and help launch the next generation of leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs, and officers. Why? Because these are the people that will change the world.