In New York City alone, 1.1 million children have no access to physical activity and often suffer from obesity. Though New York is surrounded by water, it remains difficult for people without means to access the waterways and parks of the city. Many children are stuck in overcrowded schools, have little access to transportation, and as a result, little access to extra-curricular activities with the potential to build self-confidence.
Row New York combines the discipline of rowing and rigorous academic support for New York students in grades 7-12 of all backgrounds and abilities. Using an intensive, year-round curriculum, Row New York is a “high-dosage” program that serves more than 230 youth per day—under the guidance of more than 30 staff members—to teach them the physically demanding, but highly rewarding, sport of competitive rowing. Kids in Row New York devote six days of their week and around 1,000 hours a year to learning the discipline of rowing and the values of cooperation, hard work, and dedication to self and to others, preparing them for college and for life.
The commitment required for the program challenges kids in a way many have never been before. Rowing demands hard work, team work, and tenacity – qualities with the power to transform kids once they realize they can succeed. Row New York does not just provide athletic coaching and programs. Coaches are invested in youth development – academically, physically, and emotionally – providing the support and encouragement students need to unlock their potential and succeed.
Essential to the program is the rigorous academic support Row New York provides to address the opportunity gap that exists in New York’s high schools, with students achieving in and out of school. Row New York programming includes college visits, financial aid resources, and meal services to help meet immediate needs and prepare students for their future. Students can receive support in tutoring—with an academic team to provide support in the areas of homework, math, reading, writing, and Regents examinations—SAT prep, and college prep—services typically out-of-reach for low-income students.
With Row New York’s support, eighty percent of student athletes will achieve a 3.0 average or above by the end of the season, and 98 percent will graduate on time. Ninety-nine percent went on to college, most on scholarship.
Row New York also provides programs for adults, including an Adaptive Program which takes place each Spring and Fall, and provides 16 weeks of land-based and on-water rowing activities to students with cognitive or physical disabilities. Participation in Row New York is the key for many students to realize their potential and achieve goals they never thought possible.
Row New York was founded in 2002 by Amanda Kraus with the idea that competitive rowing paired with rigorous academic support for underserved youth could change the trajectory of their teen years and beyond. Row New York has since taught thousands of young people the sport of rowing, and through it the values of tenacity, focus, teamwork, and confidence.
Row New York is a 2017 S+ Catalyst. Through participation in the Catalyst Program, Row New York receives training from industry experts in organizational development, branding, measurement and growth, and strategic relationships to amplify their impact and strategically expand their reach.