Membership - American Sail Training Association

board bios

Jim Gladson

For 32 years, Jim Gladson worked as a science teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. You would think that this would have entitled him to a break, but rather than sink into retirement, Gladson, an accomplished sailor, founded both the Los Angeles Maritime Institute and the Top Sail Youth Program to help give at-risk youths a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

In taking at-risk youths from the Los Angeles area out on tall sailing ships, Gladson challenges them to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for sailing, things which they would not be able to learn in the traditional classroom. More than 40,000 at-risk students have participated in the programs, bringing to life lessons in science, math, physics, biology, geography, world trade, economics, history and literature when they are out on the water.

As a result, many of these student's teachers have reported improved grades and bigger smiles. The programs operate under the philosophy that "lessons presented with dignity, respect and unconditional confidence" can bring about life changing experiences. Gladson believes that our next generation is the one resource we truly cannot turn our backs on.

Tall Ships America • 221 3rd St., Bldg. 2, Ste. 101• Newport, RI 02840 USA • (401) 846-1775 •