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.

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Meet Jocelyn, RWA Alum


Jocelyn is an RWA Alum who has been involved in RWA programs since 2013.

Today Jocelyn is a rising sophomore at Yale University majoring in bio-mechanical engineering and premed.

After Hurricane Sandy, Jocelyn 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 participated in various community projects including Project Underway, First Wave, and the Dune Forest Restoration Project.  

We wish Jocelyn the very best in her studies and look forward to updating everyone of her successes in 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 Mariah, RWA Alum


Mariah started in RWA when she was in middle school and today is a rising Junior at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where she is majoring in Animation. 

Mariah always had an interest in science and the arts and has used much of the experience she had at RWA in her present illustrations and animation. 

Look for Mariah's future work in film and tv!!

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 them. They spent the better part of a year restoring the house and it has again become a family gathering place where they entertain their own grandchildren and introduce 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 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 elementary school at PS43, where RWA initially started youth programs 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 in this immediate neighborhood near the beach, but had no prior exposure to learning from the natural environment. Jadel has learned a great deal about marine science and learning from the natural environment working as an intern in RWA's Aqua 101 summer and afterschool 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 Hunter College for a degree in education. 

We are so proud of Jadel's accomplishments over the past 10 years, as she has been a role model for her peers, an outspoken advocate for the environment and for the Rockaway community itself.

Meet Keneisha, RWA Educator, 3 years


Keneisha has been working as an educator at RWA since 2010. Trained as an educator in Special Education, Keneisha used hands-on learning in developing curricula for Environmental Arts and Gardening Initiatives for RWA's programs at NYCHA and Rockaway public schools.

Keneisha has a great deal of experience working with museums where she mixes arts and science based learning for youngster. This spring, she led the RWA Environmental Resiliency Series being done in the Rockaway Public Schools and PS1 Rockaway Geodesic Dome as well as art and gardening projects during the the summer youth program. 


Success Stories:

Meet Gale

Gale is the parent of two elementary school children who have taken part in the RWA Aqua 101 Summer Program for three consecutive years. Gale has seen a real impact on her children's lives through RWA programs. Hear more about Gale's story.