Amber Cordes-Eklund does some final clean up of the interior of a skiff to prepare for oil and paint at the Apprenticeshop in Rockland. Submitted photo

ROCKLAND — The Apprenticeshop is raffling off a 12-foot flat bottom rowboat, a Susan Skiff, to raise funds for the Mary Lacy Scholarship for Women.

The scholarship fund was established in 2020 to encourage more women to participate in boatbuilding apprenticeships as part of a long-term goal to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across The Apprenticeshop.

Since 2020, the scholarship fund has supported five women apprentices in its 12-week, nine-month, and two-year boatbuilding apprenticeships, according to a news release from the nonprofit organization.

For the first time in the organization’s half-century history, four of The Apprenticeshop’s leaders are women, as well as alumna of its boatbuilding apprenticeships. Board Chair Rachel Davis ‘12-’13, Vice Chair Emily Dueñas Cornell du Houx ‘17-’19, Executive Director Isabella Feracci ‘05-’07, and Director of Student Affairs & Outreach Nina Noah ‘15-’17 all came back to The Apprenticeshop years after their own boatbuilding apprenticeships to ensure that experiential education through boats remains alive for future generations.

Each year, a skiff built by one of the current scholarship recipients is raffled to support the next group of women apprentices. This year’s skiff was built by apprentices Amber Cordes-Eklund and Max Mihelich and launched last December.

When asked about how this first project impacted her, Cordes-Eklund said, “I have the confidence to voice my opinions and questions a little louder, to try something new even if it scares me, to use tools that I didn’t know existed three months ago, to offer solutions to things that didn’t go right the first time, and to create whatever it is my heart desires … Although the work here is quite the challenge, I leave here every day with a sense of peace and the knowledge of something new. I am so thankful to be at The Apprenticeshop and to be welcomed by its greater community. It truly feels like a home away from home.”

Raffle tickets will be available until July 23 at The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday, July 23, the last day of the ‘shop’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Week.

The four apprentice alumna who are currently leading the Apprenticeshop in Rockland are, from left, Nina Noah, Isabella Feracci, Emily Dueñas Cornell du Houx and Rachel Davis. Christine Cannella photo

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