“This program will change students' lives and their way of learning for the better.”
Dr. Michael Gass

Director of outdoor education, University of New Hampshire


 the purpose

Transforming students into active leaders through the educational adventure of a lifetime.

who FUEL serves

College students, gap-year students, lifelong learners.

the vision

 Aboard our sailing schoolship people realize their personal potential.


100% of your investment goes toward building the ship for this program.


Why is the FUEL program so important?

When it comes to education, most people find that high school and college are not enough to prepare you for your life ahead. The FUEL program helps students complete their education by offering a transformative experience that creates confident, active leaders.
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We know how hard it is to find value in sitting through a long, boring lecture. 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 ability to problem solve and think for yourself and the confidence and motivation to live a full and productive 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 a 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 two captains, 7 first mates, and countless crew. Together Casey and Ian have brought together a board of directors and advisors that includes naval architects, university professors, a Coast Guard captain, a fundraising consultant, sail training experts, and master mariners. Our team created this program because we’ve witnessed, countless times, the positive transformation that happens to people onboard 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 a full semester of college credits as well as maritime certifications and licensing, they will build a bedrock 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 on paper than your potential will be limited to classrooms and test scores. Once you have a transformative experience your years of education will start to work for you. People that know their potential become entrepreneurs, officers, and leaders, these are the people that change the world. Invest in FUEL’s development and help build a new generation of active leaders.


Give now

Give now

Your gift helps build the ship for the FUEL program which will transform thousands of young lives.

learn more

View the sample itinerary of a voyage, explore courses we will offer, learn more about what the FUEL program will accomplish.