Sisters Under Sail founder given leadership award

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Dawn Santamaria, founder and executive director of Sisters Under Sail, was honored last weekend with the 2011 Leadership In Women's Sailing Award at the National Women’s Sailing Association Conference in Marblehead, Mass.

The annual award honors someone who has built a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women and girls through sailing. It is sponsored by the women’s sailing association and BoatUS.

Based in New Jersey, Sisters Under Sail helps teen girls and women of all ages build confidence, enhance self-esteem, develop social conscience and learn the value of women working together toward a common goal through sail training.

The group was established in 2005 through the inspiration of Santamaria’s family’s experience sailing aboard their tall ship Unicorn.

Since its inception, Sisters Under Sail has put aboard nearly 400 teenage girls and 200 women.