Over 95% of the young people who take part in our programs are going on to further their education in college, or trade schools. More than 80% of the students are focused on careers in STEM related fields.

Marquee image

Jocelyn Dicent, Shore Corps Vice Chair


Jocelyn has been with RWA since the summer of 2013. After Hurricane Sandy, she had a desire to be more active in her community, and joining RWA was her way of doing so. As an RWA participant, she has been able to participate in various community projects, including Project Underway, First Wave, Dune Restoration, and various annual community events such as tree plantings and bike tours. 

Her involvement in RWA has given her many public speaking opportunities, which she has embraced. She has grown more confident in speaking up about what she believes in and her vision of what Rockaway can be. 

She was selected as the Vice Chair of the Shore Corps Youth Leadership Council by her peers due to her leadership qualities and determination to affect change. She is a senior at the Scholars' Academy High School and she hopes to pursue a STEM based career after graduating from college. 

Burt Horn, Volunteer


Burt Horn, a resident of Philadelphia, grandparents, Armin and Tillie Gyori, bought their house on Beach 126th street in Rockaway in 1923.  Two years ago, the house was passed on to their generation. They spent the better part of a year restoring the house and it has again become a family gathering place where we are entertaining our own grandchildren and introducing them to paddle boarding, smoothies and fish tacos. Their family is deeply rooted in this community. This is the connection that brought them to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. Joan & Burt have helped this past spring with tree, and dune grass planting. They are working with RWA to rebuild the natural environment, the dunes and the native vegetation is essential for the long term health and survival of the peninsula. Burt and Joan are excited about everything that is old and precious about Rockaway, encouraged by everything that is new and hopeful for the future.

Meet Gale, Parent, 3 years


Gale is the parent of two elementary school children who have taken part in the RWA Aqua 101 Summer Program for three consecutive years. As a Rockaway resident, Gale feels there are limited access to programs and services for families that introduce young people to the environment.

Both her children have had the opportunity to surf, swim and kayak off the Rockaway shoreline through the RWA summer program. 

Meet Jadel, Intern/ RWA Graduate, 6 years


Jadel was one of the first students to take part in RWA programs back when we first began in 2007. Jadel attended PS43, where RWA started pilot projects and workshops with youth in the Rockaway public schools. At the time, Jadel was in the 7th grade and would regularly help with stewardship and planning projects, such as plans for the Rockaway Waterfront Park.

RWA was founded in part because of students like Jadel who lived directly off the waterfront but had no prior exposure to learning from the natural environment. Jadel has learned a great deal about marine science working as an intern in RWA's Aqua 101 after school and summer programs. Over the years, she has become an accomplished swimmer, surfer, songwriter and musician. 

Jadel graduated from Frederick Douglass Vi High School in 2011; representing the first official graduating class of RWA. Today, Jadel continues to live in Far Rockaway as she attends BMCC.

We are so proud of Jadel's accomplishments over the past 6 years, as she has been a role model for her peers, an outspoken advocate for the environment and for the Rockaway community itself.

Meet Sabastian, Shore Corps Chair


Sabastian has been with RWA since the Fall of 2013. Since then he has participated in many different initiatives through RWA including First Wave, Project Underway, Dune Restoration, and many community/environmental projects.

He is currently the Chair of the Shore Corps Youth Leadership Council where has brought his energy, passion, and commitment to the Rockaway community.  He is currently a senior at the Scholars' Academy and hopes to become a medical doctor one day.

Meet Emily, Community Partner


Emily Johnson is an artist based in New York City and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment—interacting with a place's architecture, history, and role in community. 

Emily had the great pleasure of working with Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and their youth to create a day of story sharing and dune restoration for SHORE: Community Action in Lenapehoking.

Meet Melina, Shore Corps Treasurer


Melina is completing her first year in the Shore Corps Program. As role model for youth, Melina was elected, by her peers, to serve as Treasurer of the Youth Advisory Council for the Shore Corps Program.

As a local student, she has learned a great deal about her community and her involvement has made her a more confident person through public speaking opportunities.

Through Shore Corps, she has engaged the Rockaway community and other youth in environmental stewardship work including the Rockaway maritime forest dune restoration, tree plantings, and bike tours. As a proud member of  Shore Corps, she takes part in youth urbanism, activism, and community involvement.


Success Stories:

Meet Melina

Melina is the Treasurer of the Shore Corps Program as a part of Rockaway Waterfront Alliance.  She has been a member since 2014.