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Meet the Students

Our Bayfront Alternative Education Program (BAEP) students come to us from Erie’s Public Schools.  BMC has teamed up with the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center to create a therapeutic learning environment for inner-city high schools teens who have been struggling in the traditional classroom setting.  Hands-on project-based learning in the BMC Boatshop during the regular school year combined with English, Science, Social Studies and Math provide a dynamic combination,

Class sizes are small; usually about twelve students taught by one teacher and one behavioral counselor. This excellent student/teacher ratio allows plenty of one-on-one time instruction. Trained counselors and therapists are available to work one-on-one or in groups with the teens.  We are introducing these students to success!!


CNC Router Student Project

Students enjoy creating their own projects on our CNC Router. Shawn wrote this poem for his mother and created a very special gift for Mother’s Day.

BAEP students at work on skiff.

Bayfront Alternative Education Program students at work on the early stages of the St. Ayles Skiff project.

Project SAIL, after-school program apprentice positions are open to any student between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age. Applications must be completed and submitted prior to each six week session.

Project SAIL

Project SAIL students enjoy sharing their culture with the BMC staff. Bhutanese students, who have lived in refugee camps in Nepal most of their lives, made samosas and tea for everyone….complete with Bollywood music. It was a very festive occasion!


Building boats builds community!

Our students come from all parts of the world; the new Americans, who find themselves on a new continent, beginning a new life. They come from Nepal, Somalia, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, and Congo to name a few.  Most speak two or three languages! They all call Erie home now and all are eager to learn a new language, to immerse themselves in a new culture and make a better life.

Others have lived in Erie all their lives, yet have never had the opportunity to sail on the bay, some have never been in a boat. Yet they are willing to try a new experience, to learn something new.

“Sailing is fun but on the boat you must know where everything is and how everything works. We are lucky to have access to these sail boats and ride them. Ask any student here at BMC if any of their friends have ever been sailing, have ever gotten their boating license, or even have ever been canoeing. The answers will most likely be none. All of us have fun and volunteer for any job out on the sail boats because not every kid has the chance to do what we do.
– Jorge L.

Gage with his finished shelf. He gave this to his sister as a Christmas gift.

Gage, a student from Central Tech High School, showed real aptitude for woodworking.  His studies at BMC inspired him to pursue a career in carpentry.

Read Gage’s Story
Typically half of our new students have never been on a boat. It is hard to believe this is possible when most of these kids grow up just minutes from one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Imagine the thrill of their first boat ride when it is on a boat they have built with their own hands!

Project SAIL_Navigating_9.15.2015

Charting a course to success!