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Sisters under Sail seek scholarship applicants

An all-women tall ship initiative is seeking American and Canadian daughters of the military to apply for a cross-border sailing scholarship.

In commemoration of a watershed in North American history, Sisters Under Sail, a non-profit organization that runs leadership programs for teen girls aboard a tall ship, is seeking applications from teenage daughters of U.S. and Canadian military families. Each of these teens will sail — under full scholarship — for two weeks aboard the all-women crewed tall ship Unicorn.

Teen girls between the ages of 13 and 18 from families within the eligible pay grade with a parent who is on active status or fallen in the line of duty are encouraged to apply. Six girls from U.S. military families and six from Canadian Forces families will be selected as scholarship winners for this cross-border initiative.

The application deadline is April 15.

Cities throughout the Great Lakes will participate in events commemorating the War of 1812 this summer. Sisters Under Sail is raising $18,000 to bring aboard 12 daughters from U.S. and Canadian military families to honor the strength of these courageous teens, as well as their shared experiences across national borders. Sisters Under Sail is the only sail training organization to specifically target teen daughters from U.S. and Canadian military families for leadership development.

Dawn Santamaria, founder and executive director of Sisters Under Sail, explains her decision to recognize military daughters from both the United States and Canada in a statement: “With this initiative, we aim to honor girls who face not only the everyday challenges of being teens, but also the challenges of seeing a parent deploy for months on end. There is no better opportunity to honor these girls than this summer’s 1812 commemorative events and no better place than the Great Lakes — the shared waters between our great nations.”

Sisters Under Sail helps teen girls and women of all ages build confidence, enhance their self-esteem, develop social conscience and learn the value of sisters working together towards a common goal through sail training. Sisters was established in 2005 through the inspiration of Santamaria’s family’s experience sailing aboard their tall ship, the Unicorn. Her daughters discovered their own leadership potential aboard the Unicorn.

Since its inception, Sisters Under Sail has put aboard more than 500 teenage girls and 250 women, and 45 percent of those teenage girls have shipped aboard the Unicorn via sponsorship dollars. The Unicorn is Sisters Under Sail’s “experiential learning lab” for her leadership programming.

Download the 1812 Daughters of the United States and Canadian Military application here.

To learn more about Sisters Under Sail’s 1812 Initiative, for more information regarding eligibility or to inquire about sail training programs for women of all ages, please visit,



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