Joe Youcha’s love
affair with boats began when his dad came home with an eight-foot wooden
sailboat. Growing up along the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York, Joe
began sailing at five, and had early dreams of designing big ships as a naval
architect. Somewhere along the way Youcha’s passion shifted to small boats.
That change in course was a lucky break for the Alexandria Seaport Foundation (ASF), where Youcha served as Executive Director for 18 years. In 2011, Joe stepped down as Executive Director of the Foundation to become Director of Building To Teach, which remains a program of ASF.
Starting in 1992, the Alexandria Seaport Foundation created an experiential learning program to teach young people math skills and work-readiness through the process of boat building. With Building To Teach, Youcha plans to build a national model for hands-on math education based on the successful teaching methods and exercises he developed for ASF.
The Alexandria Seaport Foundation's work has received recognition and commendation at the national, state and local level, including the White House, the Virginia Governor's Office, the Virginia Attorney General's Office, and the Superintendent of Alexandria Public Schools. Youcha has been named Washingtonian of the Year and is an Alexandria Living Legend.
Learn more about Joe and his work
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