AMIkids Puts Silver Ships Vessel to use for Marine Education Program

AMIkids is a national non-profit organization whose sole mission for 50 years has been helping at-risk youth find a brighter tomorrow. They help these youth through an evidence-based model of educational programming, coupled with mental health behavior modification services. AMIkids began in 1969 as a maritime-based rehabilitation program for juvenile offenders, and continues that tradition today with the AMIkids Marine Education Program, providing experiential education opportunities and vocational training in STEM, boating, scuba diving and fishing.

Silver Ships, Inc. is proud to spotlight its involvement in the AMIkids Marine Education Program via its custom-made vessel, “The Orlando’s Rose”. Built in 2012, “The Orlando’s Rose” is a 65-foot long, 18-foot wide landing craft. She is powered by Twin Cummins QSM-11 Engines and Twin MJP Ultrajet 410 Waterjets with Jetmaster controls. The versatility of jet drives makes this vessel the perfect fit for a variety of marine excursions.

The Orlando’s Rose was originally commissioned by Bill and Carol Barrows, who were involved in the design along with Donald L. Blount and Associates. After a short period of usage, the Barrows graciously donated her to the AMIkids Yacht Donation Program, a national benchmark for high-value vessel contributions.  Yacht donation are a viable and safe alternative for specialized vessels like the Orlando’s Rose and AMIkids  raises funds to support of its mission through this mechanism.

The Marine Education Program utilizes the vessel year-round for the AMIkids Floating Classroom and annual Presidential Dive Challenge. In the Floating Classroom, the custom vessel’s cabin is used as a ”Laboratory” and the platform on the stern gives easy access to the water for dive excursions. The descending bow makes a top-of-the-line platform for conducting scuba diving operations.

The AMIkids Marine Education Program engages students in the outdoors and improve their practical understanding of biodiversity in the waters of the greater Tampa Bay area and the Florida Keys. Out on the water, kids learn about estuaries, plant sea grass and draw water samples in an engaging and inclusive environment. It encourages camaraderie and teamwork among the kids – something they would not get to experience otherwise.

“It’s amazing to see how our vessel has impacted the lives of so many kids since this vessel was originally constructed,” says Steven Clarke, CEO and co-owner of Silver Ships. “This boat was a unique project and put the versatility of our vessels to the test. Witnessing it being utilized for such an important mission makes it an even more special project for us, and we hope the kids have as much fun using the vessel as we had while building it.”

“The Barrows originally designed this vessel with countless important details, and through their gracious donation, has helped us to enhance the marine education experience even further,” said Michael Thornton, President & CEO, AMIkids Inc. “It has proven to be a great testament to the power of yacht donations, as it continues to function year-round to further our marine education program. We are looking into expanding our program for at-youth across the country.”

At Silver Ships, we love to see how our vessels make a difference on the waters, from fire safety to law enforcement to marine education. Keep up with AMIkids and their latest adventures on their Silver Ships vessel, and contact us to learn more about a customized boat for your organization.