Who We Serve
Our direct services target youth ages 14-21 from the Kensington, Port Richmond and Frankford sections of north Philadelphia – all areas that face significant unemployment, high incidence of crime as well as substantial poverty.
Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory was founded in 1996 by Geoffrey McKonly, who believed disengaged youth needed a hands-on activity in a constructive environment to help them develop and apply academic skills. PWBF transitioned in 2010 from its initial school-based, vocational-technology approach to an out-of-school-time model, expanding both the numbers it serves annually as well as the range and duration of its programming.
Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory uses a longitudinal, resiliency-based approach that is grounded in the Reaching Teens curriculum developed by University of Pennsylvania adolescent medicine physician, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg. The longitudinal approach allows participants to develop trusting connections with staff over time, enabling them to explore, take risks and learn from failure. Read more…
One of our explicit objectives is to support positive change with respect to early warning indicators adopted by the School District of Philadelphia. PWBF also works to encourage positive self-images among youth, knowing that how young people think about themselves has an impact on how they act as well as on their potential for success. Ultimately, we look to graduate youth from our program with the skills and resources to make constructive life decisions and to enter and succeed in employment or post-secondary education.