October 19, 2023

SALM Marine & Hospitality Vocational Program

Shake-A-Leg Miami Revolutionizes Vocational Education with Marine & Hospitality Program


Miami, FL - Shake-A-Leg Miami made waves on Saturday, October 14th, as it unveiled its groundbreaking Marine and Hospitality Vocational Program. Thanks to the unwavering support of State Representative Vicki Lopez and State Senator Alexis Calatayud, this innovative pilot program secured a remarkable $506,000 state appropriation. The program aims to provide vocational education to young adults with disabilities and wounded veterans, empowering them with valuable skills and knowledge in the marine and hospitality industries.


The Marine and Hospitality Vocational Program is set to transform lives by offering individuals with disabilities the opportunity to pursue meaningful careers in these thriving industries. Through hands-on training and expert guidance, participants will gain the tools necessary to excel in their chosen fields.


During the ribbon-cutting event, Representative Vicki Lopez and the Shake-A-Leg Miami team discussed the program against the backdrop of a replica of Hemingway's iconic Pilar. Generously donated by the Miguel Fernandez Family Foundation and Andy Garcia, the Pilar will serve as the flagship of the program. Students will actively participate in its restoration and ongoing operations, acquiring invaluable skills and opening doors to employment in the Marine Industry. 

"I am thrilled about this project because it will empower individuals with disabilities to develop skills that enhance their confidence, socialization, and independence, while preparing them for employment. Together, we are forging a more inclusive and empowering future for all," expressed Vicki Lopez.

Cristian Bedoya, Shake-A-Leg Miami Board Chairman, added, "Shake-A-Leg Miami, in partnership with the City of Miami, has created a community watersports center that is accessible to all. We are proud to incorporate this groundbreaking pilot program into our array of programs and activities."


This pilot program is offered free of charge to young adults and veterans with disabilities, with courses held weekly throughout the year. Enrollment can be completed online or by emailing Nadia@shakealegmiami.org.


In addition to the State appropriation, Shake-A-Leg Miami has garnered support from esteemed organizations such as Peacock Foundation, the Kirk Foundation, Brunswick, Land& Sea, Sea Choice, All Blue Planet, Freedom Boat Club, Spirit of America and the City of Miami. "We are actively seeking other Marine and Hospitality leaders to join us in training future employees and providing the healing qualities of the water and boating to families with special needs," stated Harry Horgan, co-founder of Shake-A-Leg Miami.