The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Minneapolis 2013,

Urban Boatbuilders

Urban Boatbuilders utilizes the building and use of wooden boats as a vehicle to engage at-risk youth to develop their academic, leadership, and vocational skills. Through two signature programs, Boatbuilding Partnerships and Apprenticeships, Urban Boatbuilders serves hundreds of youth across the Twin Cities each year.

In Boatbuilding Partnerships, Urban Boatbuilders partners with local middle schools, high schools, and youth-serving agencies to deliver academically enhanced boatbuilding instruction. Two days a week for ten weeks, students work under the guidance of an experienced boatbuilding instructor learning science, technology, engineering and math concepts in a unique and tangible way. What was once a pile of lumber is transformed into a finished boat fostering confidence and a sense of accomplishment for our youth. The culmination of each project offers the youth a chance to launch and paddle the boat that they built with their own two hands, fully experiencing their success.

The Apprenticeship Program offers an intensive and longer term opportunity for youth to develop tangible academic, leadership, and vocational skills. Three afternoons per week, apprentices work alongside an Urban Boatbuilders instructor and community volunteers learning and practicing both hard and soft vocational skills, developing work experience, and earning a small stipend. Time and again the Apprenticeship Program has demonstrated its ability to provide transformative experience in the lives of at-risk youth.

What new functionality we are looking for

Our ideal website would assist our organization in reaching our target audience, communicate our mission of providing a hands-on learning experience in an impactful and measurable way, allow us to better understand what is important to our partners through analytics, provide a mechanism for our employees and board members to manage content, and provide support for fundraising and volunteer recruitment.

We would like to encourage active engagement with Urban Boatbuilders from school partners, volunteers, and donors through our website to keep our joint accomplishments and mission in the spotlight. Examples of how we might use the website to deepen our relationships include an upcoming events calendar, facebook and youtube integration, an apprentice blog and a photo gallery.

We have the opportunity to significantly consolidate our administrative tasks. Much of our fundraising and volunteer recruitment takes place online, but currently our website supports neither. One of our goals is allowing our website to accept GiveMN and Razoo donations directly. We also hope to create an electronic volunteering request form and a constant contact newsletter subscription form. Providing all of these services in the same web-space simplifies our outreach.

Finally, most of our boat sales come from our website. We need a basic, easily updated ‘boats for sale’ listing page- no e commerce required.

In summary we here is a complete list of everything we would like in a new website:

• Updated website design

• Content management with basic security and publishing

• Photo gallery

• Apprentice blog

• Facebook integration

• YouTube integration

• Google calendar (upcoming events)

• Online donations (GiveMN through Razoo)

• Volunteering request form

• Newsletter subscription form (constant contact)

• Boats for sale listing page (no e-commerce needed)

• Basic website analytics

• Search engine optimization

How the new functionality will help

We are a small organization that employs a unique approach to improving the lives of youth. The guiding members of our organization are wizards at using wood glue and steaming canoe ribs but still use a Rolodex around the office to track contacts. However, we do not have the resources or knowledge to build a website for our organization that we believe will help us fulfill our mission.

Our current website was built by a volunteer and it does not provide all of the features we need to grow our organization. It has been very difficult for us to keep our site up to date giving visitors the impression that we are a defunct organization. Our inability to make the website seem ‘alive’ with social media integration and blog posts discourages potential volunteers and customers.

We believe a new website would allow us to fulfill our mission by being our central location on the web to drive more partnerships, volunteers, youth, and donors to our organization. A more modern site would increase the amount of work coming to our organization and make us more approachable to volunteers.

Our website receives a large amount of traffic and is very visible to the niche community seeking our services. We need to connect more effectively with this interest group: as an organization that provides a service, the usability and accessibility of our website is vital in moving us forward.

This year, one of our most important plans for expansion is ramping up our partnerships with schools and juvenile justice organizations. Partnerships are our most effective method of engaging and impacting more youth, and increases the pool of applicants for apprenticeships. Our website currently lacks a proper application and description for partnerships. Providing background on partnership description, a project calendar, blogs, and a photo gallery would streamline our outreach process significantly. All of these are vital to an organization with limited staff capacity.

We plan to significantly expand our organization’s impact in 2013: a new and vibrant website would go a long way in making that possible.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

49 Messages from Supporters

2013-02-05 02:57:55 UTC

What an incredibly wonderful organization Urban Boatbuilders is! I had the pleasure of working with a group of youth apprentices this past summer as they built skin-on-frame canoes to take on a five-day adventure to the Boundary Waters. Watching them work together and learn together was awe inspiring. Hearing bits and pieces of their lives and knowing what a positive impact their time with Urban Boatbuilders had on them helped me to understand the powerful change Urban Boatbuilders creates with them. What was even better was seeing them come home and looking through the photos of their trip. Some of these guys had never been in a boat before this trip and they tested themselves and tested the boats that they built and succeeded.
The current website doesn't do justice to this great organization and doesn't tell its powerful story. Please help Urban Boatbuilders by choosing them for a new site!

2013-02-05 17:42:20 UTC

What a great opportunity for at-risk youths to learn life-long skills and build confidence in themselves. These kids get--what probably for most--a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something they may have never thought they could do--build a boat. An organization like this will leave an impact on these kids' lives forever and provide them with life skills (i.e., team work, leadership, problem-solving skills) that they can take to any opportunity that they encounter as young adults and adults. This is a great organization that teaches these young people that with perseverance and hard work, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Please choose Urban Boatbuilders for a new website!

2013-02-05 19:56:32 UTC

I have enjoyed following updates from Urban Boat Builders on Facebook, having heard about the organization from a friend. Its mission makes perfect sense to me as it joins the ranks of other organizations working with the schools to build (or rebuild) student confidence and incorporate important life lessons into a project-based program to youth in the urban areas. The fact that students come out of the program with a finished project in which they can take pride and feel a sense of personal accomplishment is an added bonus that I think sets this program above others provided for youth.

I enjoy learning about new volunteer opportunities and will admit that, as I consider volunteering, I usually check out the website of the organization to get a feel for how the volunteer session might go. As it stands now, the Urban Boat Builders website looks good and gets its point across. I agree with the last testimonial that the website could be much more. I would very much enjoy receiving a newsletter, having online calendar access, and a direct link to youtube updates and testimonials, among other things. Please consider this wonderful organization!

2013-02-05 19:58:32 UTC
Justin Vogt (Board Member)

Urban Boatbuilders (UBB) is an amazing organization that provides tremendous value to our community. UBB is filled with passionate teachers, mentors, and leaders that have skill, patience, and wisdom that is contagious.

The UBB programs provide participants with a unique opportunity to work one on one with skilled craftsman while learning about science, technology, engineering, math, art, and themselves in a positive results oriented environment.

Witnessing the experience of a team placing the boat that they built by hand into the water while they climb aboard is breath taking. The sense of accomplishment that this organization gives is truly amazing.

Please Nerds please... Give the Urban Boatbuilders a new website!

2013-02-05 20:02:50 UTC
A.J. Maplewood

What a fantastic outlet for youth. I would have loved to something like Urban Boatbuilders for my growth as a youth. Keep the great work.THANKS

2013-02-05 20:08:55 UTC
J. Scott Beaty, Executive Director, MN Youth Intervention Programs Association

I highly endorse Urban Boatbuilders for a website overhaul. This is a great program that works with high risk youth and teaches them about the fine art of boatbuilding while at the same time teaching them business and life skills. It is a great and needed program.

2013-02-05 20:17:32 UTC
Fred Zonino

Urban Boatbuilders gives urban youth an opportunity to break a cycle where one problem leads to the next and the next. In the shop 3 days a week, they learn skills, build confidence, complete projects and maintain focus and good behavior. It's a very positive environment with positive outcomes.

2013-02-05 20:25:35 UTC
Jason Clifford

My father and I built a boat when I was in junior high. It was a wonderful learning experience and ended with an awesome sense of accomplishment that I'm still proud of to this day. What an experience for at-risk youth to have a chance to apply the skills they are learning in school and feel that same sense of accomplishment to finishing such a project! More of this type of confidence building is what our youth need.

2013-02-05 20:31:55 UTC
Dyke Williams, Wilcox & Williams, Inc. President

Urban Boatbuilders is the best teen program I know of in the Twin Cities. I've been involved in starting many, many "hands on" programs, and am alleged to be aan expert in experiential eduction. I co-own Country Ways - a firm selling kits and instruction on how to build your own outdoor gear - since 1973. I think that what these folks do is the best of the best. They've struggled, as all good programs do, but have persevered and have made a considerable difference for the kids they have enfolded. Any help they can get to become stronger and more stable will make a world of difference!

2013-02-05 20:48:11 UTC

I think they are a very helpful. Plus are good at what they do and do a good job show and tell pleople what need needs to be not how to do it safety. The have greet staff too.

2013-02-05 21:00:58 UTC
Christie Larson

Please choose Urban Boatbuilders for this website challenge! It is a great organization that has found a creative way to teach at-risk youth valuable life skills. A new website would help their organization showcase all the great work that they do.

2013-02-05 21:22:01 UTC

URban Boat builders is an amazing organization and I wish we had more non-profits like them in the cities. They help youth really step into their own and devlop pride in the their and their identity. They also make the trades cool, which they are! But this is very important and often overlooked. We need more tradesmen with a broad backgrounds, such as building boats as a highschooler! Urban boat builder also is preserving an important piece of our cultural history, wooden boats were built all over this land of 10,000 lakes 100 years ago. Finally, Urban boat builders has an amazing staff! Phil is a master of two crafts: boat building and youth building!

2013-02-05 21:39:59 UTC
Michael Brouillette

This is a Great Site By A Great Group of People and They are Doing A Super Job

2013-02-05 21:53:17 UTC
Valerie Vogt

The Urban Boatbuilders approach at-risk youth in an innovative way. While this organization is big on building a strong community in the Twin Cities, they are not big on building a strong web presence for themselves. I would love to see the Urban Boatbuilders have a website that reflects their creativity and mission in a way that can attract positive attention and funding to allow them to continue to serve the youth of our state.

2013-02-05 21:54:10 UTC

I have been very impressed by Urban Boatbuilders since I discovered them five years ago. This organization is creative, effective, very relevant to today's issues, and truly one of a kind! I love that they combine youth development, leadership, environmental education and community with learning a practical hands-on skill. They fill a real need in the Twin Cities, and definitely deserve more recognition and support!

2013-02-05 23:08:17 UTC
Dave Gagne

Urban Boatbuilders is one of the unsung heroes in the nonprofit network of the Twin Cities serving at-risk teens. Working with local high schools and juvenile corrections organizations, Urban Boatbuilders provides at-risk teens (boys and girls!) a unique experience of success and achievement while gaining practical woodworking skills and on-the-job workplace experience. The heart of Urban Boatbuilders' program is the success of teen participants in their woodworking/boatbuilding experience and the mentoring they receive to make important changes in their lives. The stories of Urban Boatbuilders' teens need to be told more effectively and heard by more Twin Cities families. A new and improved website would help accomplish that goal.

2013-02-05 23:21:58 UTC
barbara behlert

Wow! I think Urban Boatbuilders is onto something huge.In a world of technical/computer importance along comes UBB and suggests dramatically that lives can be changed by doing something physical and creative. How badly needed for so many for whom the computer doesn't cut it. Not only are lives changed but a new way of processing tasks, relationships, planning and completion are tackled and completed with the participants realizing they have been successful (maybe for the 1st time in their life).

UBB is what's needed in our increasingly alienating, cyber world.Our young people need to be given the opportunity to rethink what they are good at and what the future might hold. UBB is all about hope and gaining confidence. Now that's something we all need. The morem who see the web-site the bwetter for our world.

2013-02-06 00:24:52 UTC

Urban Boatbuilders seems like a well kept secret that I think so many more people would love knowing about. In a world that is increasing filled with fear and hatred it is inspiring to see these young people working together with the boatbuilders of Urban Boatbuilders. Together they learn to take pride in themselves and their work and to respect and trust each other as they solve problems together to create a boat, plan a trip or go to the BWCA together. These young people are our future and people need to know about the wonderful things they are doing. It is time for good news like the work of Urban Boatbuilders.

2013-02-06 01:12:22 UTC
Emily Stuber

Urban Boatbuilders provides youth opportunities to develop real life skills while providing community and personal development through an intentional apprenticeship program. I have heard countless stories of young people who have worked with UBB and learned how to face challenge, ask for support, and believe in their own capacity for greatness. I think that if more people could learn about UBB through an amazing new website it would further their goals and help them to reach out to more people in the Twin Cities. The stories of journeys down the mighty Mississippi, wooden boat building, and youth development need to be told. Please select UBB! Help them share their stories!

2013-02-06 01:32:07 UTC
Katie Zonino

Urban Boatbuilders has long been positively influencing the lives of youth within the St. Paul community for years. The organization is not large, however the staff and volunteers do an excellent job of managing resources to ensure the program can continued to be offered in the community. A website with expanded functionality would allow the organization to recruit more volunteers, raise additional funding and share their values and mission with a wider audience. All of this in turn would allow the program to achieve their ultimate goal of helping additional youth. Please help Urban Boatbuilders reach more youth within the St. Paul community by building them a new website!!

2013-02-06 01:39:34 UTC

They Make A Great ottertail Paddle. Hello To Steven Krossner. :)

2013-02-06 01:44:08 UTC
Pam Hoff

Urban Boat Builders! They operate on a shoestring budget, yet do amazing things. I have witnessed urban teenagers who have been adjudicated, yet are terrified of bugs, learn to build boats by hand and then actually go to the boundary waters and put them to use. Oh, it gladdens my heart to see tough guys be mellowed by Mother Nature. If they could get a new site, they could enhance donation possibilities and keep on keeping on - maybe even grow. Please consider them. Please!

2013-02-06 03:41:14 UTC
Sarah Ullmer

This is a great organization that helps build capacity in young people by building boats. Stop by the shop and you will see and feel the magic for yourself. This is a small and mighty organization do good work with young people.

2013-02-06 03:46:09 UTC

Having been associated with Urban Boatbuilders for some time now i can tell you that this is truly a unique organization that is in need of
a greater web presence.While it is true that we have a dedicated group of supporters and volunteers i believe that we can have a much greater impact if more people are aware of who we are and what we do.We are nerds of a different type, boat nerds, but nerds who also believe in helping youth get a chance to change their lives for the better so please help us in helping our youth and keeping Urban Boatbuilders strong and growing.

2013-02-06 14:27:50 UTC
Maryanne Simonitsch

Urban Boatbuilders personifies Minnesota: It brings together folks of all ages to help youth to thrive. It teaches entreprenurial skills, while also providing the skills (both soft and hard) that kids need to get and retain a job. And it involves boats: Perfect for the land of 10,000 lakes! But just as important, they are reaching youth who may need a program that is not a 'cookie cutter' after school program and changing their lives for the better.

2013-02-06 14:29:52 UTC
Mary Hamel

Urban Boatbuilders is a gem of an organization in St. Paul's Midway area. Surrounded by Big Box retailers, traffic and drug dealing, they are a beacon in the darkness. I personally know young people that they have helped, and they do so much on a very tight budget. They maximize community resources and volunteers, while providing a profound service to at risk youth. What they do goes far beyond carpentry training. They teach life lessons, job skills and provide hope for kids who might otherwise not have a positive place to go or role model. I just cannot say enough good things about the program or how deserving they are of a new website!

2013-02-06 15:49:03 UTC
Jason Hudalla

Every year I get to visit the BWCA with friends and family. This experience has been invaluable to me and serves as a tremendous source of pride and tradition among my close friends and family. Through the UBB, Minnesota youth are able to work towards and share experiences they otherwise might never have been able to enjoy. The UBB represents something that other states and communities should embrace, providing an outlet for youthful energy and an environment that develops team building and critical thinking skills. Any help that can be given to the UBB to extend these efforts through social media and other forms of community outreach would only extend and strengthen this amazing organization. A new website can do both of those things. This is a great opportunity to be the change!

2013-02-06 15:49:50 UTC
Jason Hudalla

Every year I get to visit the BWCA with friends and family. This experience has been invaluable to me and serves as a tremendous source of pride and tradition among my close friends and family. Through the UBB, Minnesota youth are able to work towards and share experiences they otherwise might never have been able to enjoy. The UBB represents something that other states and communities should embrace, providing an outlet for youthful energy and an environment that develops team building and critical thinking skills. Any help that can be given to the UBB to extend these efforts through social media and other forms of community outreach would only extend and strengthen this amazing organization. A new website can do both of those things. This is a great opportunity to be the change!

2013-02-06 15:51:04 UTC
Jason Hudalla (area man)

Every year I get to visit the BWCA with friends and family. This experience has been invaluable to me and serves as a tremendous source of pride and tradition among my close friends and family. Through the UBB, Minnesota youth are able to work towards and share experiences they otherwise might never have been able to enjoy. The UBB represents something that other states and communities should embrace, providing an outlet for youthful energy and an environment that develops team building and critical thinking skills. Any help that can be given to the UBB to extend these efforts through social media and other forms of community outreach would only extend and strengthen this amazing organization. A new website can do both of those things. This is a great opportunity to be the change!

2013-02-06 22:48:27 UTC
Antonio (Apprentice)

I'm an apprentice at Urban Boat Builders; I think they should have a chance for this website is because they gave me a chance to succeed when no one else gave me this opportunity, and I'm very grateful. I learned new skills both physical and intellectual, and all the credit goes to this program.

2013-02-07 03:36:29 UTC
Andy Grewell

This should be an easy choice! The Marc and the folks at Urban Boatbuilders have the passion, experience, and motivation to make real difference in the lives of their apprentices. With a little website help they will be well-positioned to increase their capacity and ramp-up their programs. A new website will also help Urban Boatbuilders better communicate with their supporters, assist in development activities, and help people like me stay up date on the wonderful accomplishments (and boats for sale!). Please support a great organization and help them with this project!

2013-02-07 14:25:03 UTC
Marc Hosmer (Executive Director of Urban Boatbuilders)

When you first hear about Urban Boatbuilders, you may wonder whether wooden boatbuilding would resonate with youth in today’s world. Through more than 15 years or working with youth, I can say that I haven’t found a single better vehicle to engage youth and develop their academic, social, and vocational skills.

Whether it is due to previous incarceration, being a teen parent, or another barrier to self-sufficiency, the Urban Boatbuilders Apprenticeship Program is serving youth who have the most need in our community. These youth, statistically likely to live a life in poverty and dependent on the world around them, are growing and developing the hard and soft vocational skills that will empower them to become economically self-sufficient.

The Partnership Program engages youth in local schools, juvenile corrections facilities, and community organizations and uses wooden boatbuilding as a tool to reinforce and provide real life relevancy to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts they are learning in the classroom. Dividing fractions, measuring volume, testing shear strength…whatever the concept, boatbuilding can teach it. The best part is that the students love it!

For these and so many other reasons, I can tell you that Urban Boatbuilders is an extraordinary program that is creating measurable impact in the lives of our youth in our community. Sadly, only a limited number of youth are able to experience the benefits of this program each year. In large part this is a result of our limited ability to reach out to new school and community partners, to engage new donors, to recruit more volunteers, and to keep stakeholders informed about the positive direction the organization is moving. A new website would empower and enable us to do all of these things (and more!) ultimately making a positive impact in the lives of more local youth. Please help us help youth by choosing Urban Boatbuilders.

2013-02-07 14:37:12 UTC

The photos on The Urban Boatbuilders Facebook page say everything there is to say.
Please choose them!

2013-02-07 20:05:35 UTC
Jocelyn Sweet

Even though my two teens have not had the chance to participate, I think this has to be one of the most inovative and creative ways to engage youth. Once you're on the water, you discover the natural beauty of our landscape and peace flows inward, ultimately outward. This should be one of the amazing small nonprofits that goes national.

2013-02-07 21:27:32 UTC
Mahamed Said

Even tho my name means the peace maker, I was not one to keep the peace. I was a violent, impulsive, and abusive as I grew into my teenage years; this led me to Boys Totem Town - a boys correctional facility. There I met Phil Winger, and since then, I've been his apprentice. I worked with him from October of 2010 to this present day. I've progressed from being a statistic to being the lead apprentice at UBB under there supervision. I honestly believe that this program can help anyone who is, or might know an at-risk youth. The involvement that Phil and the rest of the volunteer do, along with the board members, and anyone else who is involved into keeping this program going deserve more than just a website built for them. They deserve more; and I am extremely grateful for the help and effort they did for me.

2013-02-07 22:47:05 UTC
Jordan Owens

Boat builder is one of the most productive things I've ever done. I used to get into a lot of trouble which landed me in btt, where I me Phil. Phil thaught me that there is better things to do then stealing cars, like building awesome boats that created new positive memories . I can't forget about brain and Bruce they gave me great advice and helped me through hard times. Ubb is a awesome program and I hope it keeps going forever

2013-02-08 00:55:42 UTC
Cham Xiong

UBB has taught me alot of things that is help me in life now. Leadership is one of my strongest skills that i have taken from Urban Boatbuilders. UBB has help me through my bad times and now I have a great job and a great family. I owe all my success to Urban Boatbuilders. Urban Boatbuilders is a great program for youths.

2013-02-08 04:46:53 UTC
Julie S.

Urban Boatbuilders is such a great and unique organization for at-risk youth. I would love to see a new site that would provide a stronger Web presence for them. They certainly deserve it!

2013-02-08 16:09:33 UTC
Dan Mork

I was recently made aware of the Urban Boatbuilders by my friend Justin Vogt, who serves the organization. I do not know much about the organization. I do, however, know a lot about boats and water.

I grew up in northern Minnesota. Boats and water were an integral part of my life. My father and I spent countless hours fishing the small lakes of the Waubun area and the enormous waters of Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. My father would always say, "being out here on the water is the fun part - catching fish is a bonus." He was right. There are few things in life that are more fun than being on the water.

We live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and there is nothing more Minnesotan than boats and water. Those days on the water with my father were very very good days. The thought of urban kids having the opportunity to experience a similar joy with people who care about them is a wonderful thought. But the thought of those kids doing so in the boat that they built with there own hands is much more wonderful.

The art of building something is a very important form of art to teach the youth of our community. The experience forms a foundation that will translate to many other areas of life. Please help Urban Boatbuilders with their request for a new web site. Thank you.

2013-02-08 17:14:41 UTC
Casimir Sienkiewicz, President Caztek Engineering

I have been a friend of, and contributed to Urban Boat Builders for nearly 10 years. I continue to be amazed at the impact that the program has on the youth that participate. UBB is particularly effective at making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth...a population that is very difficult to make a connection with. The combination of leadership, hands-on work and responsibility taught in the program is very meaningful and effective.

Some of these youth have no inspiration, values or role models in their lives when they come into the program. They are at the critical point of their lives where they prefer a life of mischief and crime as an outlet for their energy. Many of them just need the example, setting, goals and challenges presented by the talented staff at UBB, to change their life course. I have met apprentices in the program and have seen the positive change in their lives through the excellent program at UBB.

I wholeheartedly endorse Urban Boat builders as a suitable recipient of a new Website. The return to the community will be unequivocal.

2013-02-08 17:19:56 UTC
Phil Winger (UBB Boatbuilding Instructor)

To build good boats we need sharp and appropriate tools. To build strong youth, we need a critical mass of caring people to contribute time and resources.

I don't often grapple with the big-picture stuff, but I know that to build a strong and sustainable organization, our tools for outreach must also be appropriate. One very important tool in this era is our website. Any advantage that it can give us will ultimately improve our ability to ability to deliver quality hands-on programs to youth. Thank you, Nerdery, for considering us as a candidate for website assistance.

2013-02-08 18:03:33 UTC
Michael McMahon, Minneapolis parent, Urban Boatbuilders volunteer

Watch Urban Boatbuilders youth participants paddle out onto the open water in a canoe they built and you'll learn everything you need to know about this innovative youth development organization.

Urban Boatbuilders is organization that challenges youth to step out of their comfort zone and it expects them to succeed. It's an organization that trusts youth and supports them on their journey to adulthood with skill building and workforce training.

The impact of Urban Boatbuilders work is clear. Listen to youth talk about the building process and you're hear confidence born of experience and informed by training. Ask them about what comes next and they'll tell you their plans for school or work with a combination of hope and pragmatism. Take a long look the boats and you'll see the dedication, craftsmanship and beauty that went into building them.

Scan the crowd gathered for one of their boat launches and you'll see the many people who have played a role in building the boats that are gliding across the water. Although they may have never driven a rivet or steam bent a wooden boat frame, the parents, teachers, civic leaders, and volunteers in attendance all played a hand. The work of Urban Boatbuilders brings together lots of people to help the next generation succeed and the impact of that work extends far beyond the shop.

I've been a donor to Urban Boatbuilders over the years and I know it's an organization that runs lean and puts its resources to good use. A new website that helps engage people in the work, shares information effectively across new media platforms and cuts down on administrative overhead would be a real boost to their already terrific efforts.

2013-02-08 20:07:46 UTC
Yves Plante Navigateur

Each day, I look your FB page, You do a great job and I realy realy hope make a "Urban Boatbuilders", here in Montreal. Soon as possible!!

2013-02-08 20:54:34 UTC
Dave Melvin (River's Edge Academy)

Our school has partnered with UBB twice, building some fantastic skin-on frame boats and paddles. My students are St Paul urban high school students in a non-traditional curriculum. In the UBB program, my students learned the value of craftsmanship, teamwork and patience. They had to work with one another; they measured lumber, and measured it again; they felt pride in seeing their skills and effort create something useful and beautiful. I hope to work with UBB again and integrate even more math into the process of building boats.

2013-02-08 21:50:37 UTC
Eli Meyer, volunteer

I've been around Urban Boatbuilders since 2000. While I no longer live in the community, I always enjoy seeing all the great projects being built by the kids. A new website would greatly help promote and share the accomplishments of the organization, expanding the impact beyond just the children who are fortunate enough to participate in the program. It is a fantastic organization. I am very inspired by their programs, and wish more organizations could provide such rich experiences and provide opportunities to develop hands-on skills.

2013-02-08 22:36:13 UTC

PLEASE GO TO ! Urban Boatbuilders could really use a new website! They do so much to help others so we need to help them, too!

2013-02-09 00:10:42 UTC
Steve H - Minnetrista, MN

One "product" of Urban Boat Builders is the finished boats. The most important "products", however, are the profound changes that result in the lives of the youth that go through the program.

Many (not all) of the youth that participate in Urban Boat Builders have been in juvenile detention. For these Urban Boatbuilders youth, the rate of return to juvenile detention is much lower than for youth that do not participate in Urban Boat Builders. So, besides teaching teamwork, project planning, leadership and boatbuilding skills, this program somehow changes the hearts of its youth participants for the better, one young person at a time.

If you watched the video of this year's canoe trip to the boundary waters, you could see, in the eyes of the young participants, their amazement that they could even be involved in such an experience. They learned that it is possible to have a good dream, their dream, become reality.

Sure Urban Boatbuilders is about building boats. But that's incidental to it's real purpose. Urban Boatbuilders is really about building life-changing hope, confidence and skills in life-challenged young people.

Please help Urban Boatbuilders with a new website.

Thank you,

Steve H
Donor and Event participant

2013-02-09 00:35:10 UTC
Kitty Shea

As a communications professional, I know the importance of an organization's website being representative of its mission and spirit. Such is not the case with Urban Boatbuilders' digital platform. This small organization is creative, artistic and full of heart. Its website is basic and bland. Giving online life to its brand will be a wonderful and wonderfully enriching experience for the team of Web development professionals who, I'd venture to say, will feel they're the winners here.

Thank you for staging this challenge. my fingers are crossed that you'll agree that Urban Boatbuilders is worthy of your time and talent.

2013-02-09 01:14:39 UTC
Phil Monroe (Volunteer)

As a volunteer I have personally worked alongside youth apprentices. I have watched them grow into confident, skilled, young adults excited about their future. I hope that you will choose Urban Boatbuiders to receive a new website so that more youth will be able to benefit from this great program. Youth need Urban Boatbuilders and Urban Boatbuilders needs a new website. Thanks for choosing them.

Our Mission

Urban Boatbuilders mission is to provide positive youth development through the building and use of wooden boats. Our emphasis on hands-on learning, problem-solving, and confidence-building allows at-risk youth to experience personal growth and improves their future economic self-sufficiency.