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How Rowing Is Preparing Under-Resourced Students in Queens for Academic Success

How Rowing Is Preparing Under-Resourced Students in Queens for Academic Success

Row New York, a Queens-based organization, provides girls with the necessary skills for academic success through the sport of rowing

For 16 years, Row New York, a Queens-based organization, has been teaching under-resourced girls about rowing and the benefits that come along with the sport.

Through the program, kids improve their physical strength and learn skills like tenacity, focus, teamwork, and confidence. Colleen Bailey, chief marketing officer of Row New York, told QNS that these skills translate to the students’ academics as well, and, in addition to the three to four days a week the kids are out on the water, they have another three to four academic sessions each week.

Approximately 35 middle school students and 45 high school students are enrolled in the Queens program, and 84 percent of those students are enrolled free, based on their income levels. Another 15 percent are enrolled on a sliding scale.

Row New York also has programs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, in which boys can also enroll. In total, the organization has approximately 260 students across all programs.

“Rowing is a unique sport. In other sports, you have the superhero who can control whether the team wins or not. But rowing is the ultimate team sport,” Bailey told QNS. “One hundred percent of students in our program graduate high school, and 96 percent of them go on to college,” Bailey said.

Row New York is growing, too. The organization just announced plans for a new 14,000-square-foot facility being designed pro bono by Foster + Partners in association with Bade Stageberg Cox. It will be the first boathouse in the country designed to serve teens and adults in under-resourced communities.

“Crew fosters teamwork, determination, and focus. As a rower myself, I saw firsthand what a tremendous impact rowing can have on an individual, and I started Row New York to provide students from all backgrounds with an opportunity to experience these transformative benefits, both in and out of the boat,” said Founder Amanda Kraus. “We have expanded our program dramatically since we launched our first boat 15 years ago and have worked to diversify a sport that has traditionally been limited to an elite few. We are thrilled to be working with Foster + Partners on the design and creation of this new boathouse, which will allow us to continue fulfilling our mission at an even larger scale.”

Brigitt Earley

Author: Brigitt Earley is a freelance writer and editor based in NJ. She’s a new mom to a baby boy, runs an Instagram account full of the most delicious food she can find (@literallyallthefood), and loves to hate a good barre class. See More

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