About Row New York (Students share what the program means to them)
Row New York is an NYC non-profit and after-school rowing and academic program for middle and high-school students, regardless of their background or ability. The program serves over 4,000 kids from all five boroughs, mostly from the city's under-resourced communities. Here's what Row New York participants had to say about the program:
"Rowing taught me that I am strong and determined. Row New York taught me that I can accomplish anything as long as I work hard. Row New York showed me that I should strive to be a little bit better every day: on the water, in the classroom, at work, and at home." - Kassandra Nevarez, Queens.
“I feel like rowing makes me feel free. Being on water almost makes me feel like my problems can't touch me.” - Chazz Knight, Brooklyn.
"Rowing for me has been a gateway into a completely different world. I've experimented with many sports, such as: soccer, tennis, volleyball, and lacrosse, but none of those sports ever gave me the same sentimental value crew gave to me. There's just something about being with a team that feels like family where you depend on each other for motivation, support, and success. In this sport there aren't any MVPs or elite players, we all laugh together, toil together, pull together, lose together, and even better, win together." - Richie Ofori, Bronx.
"The water is a place of peace and freedom, and rowing gives me an opportunity to experience this in a way that nothing else can." - De La Petrillo-Foster, Manhattan.
"What Row New York means to me is a place that I can go and not worry about school or my responsibilities. I can go there and just be in tune with my boat on the water. Row New York is like my second home to me." - Olivia Toussaint, Staten Island.
100% of kids at Row New York graduate high school and 99% go on to college; 100% exceed the CDC's recommended daily activity levels. Needless to say, these are much higher than city averages. 84% of participants row for free, and 53% come from families with a household income under $30,000. Over half will become first generation college students.
Jack Carlson, founder of Rowing Blazers, has been involved with supporting the program since he was a member of the US national rowing team, and for the past couple of years, Rowing Blazers has presented every high school senior at Row New York with a blazer hand-tailored just for them and with a symbol of their New York borough embroidered on the chest pocket (pictured above at the Row New York Annual Fall Benefit).