New Challenged America Video

Thank you Chris Carlsten from Nine Towers Audio/Video to volunteer, shoot and produce this video showcasing Challenged America

Challenged America  Sails for 36 Years.   View this exciting video of the Challenged America Story, from how and when it began, to where it is today.  This video introduces you to the founders, disabled veterans, and how they were motivated to expand and advance their own rehabilitation to others with disabilities, kids, adults, veterans and recent Wounded Warriors. See how the entire family can be actively involved with a loved one’s rehabilitation at Challenged America.  From sailing year-round in small, 16-foot, two-person sailboats in San Diego bay, to sailing offshore in ocean-racing yachts.  Discover how contributions by the general public, donation of vessels, and the volunteering effort by hundreds have made Challenged America North America’s premiere adaptive sailing therapeutic program since 1978 … and how you can help, regardless of where you live, to support the work the charitable Challenged America program does, and  join us in the next big adventure of sailors with disabilities racing in the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii.   Call us today at (619) 523-9318, email ,

Help us keep the Challenged America program free, click here to make a secure tax deductible donation

Challenged America Participant Testimonial , Thank You Eric

“I started sailing with Challenged America in November 2011. It was my first time back on the water since my injury on January 27, 2011. When I saw the Martin 16’s and how they are set up, I was excited to know that I would be an active participant rather than a passenger ‘along for the ride’.

“The phrase ‘leave your disabilities at the dock’ could not be more true! When I’m on the water, at the helm of a sailboat, and enjoying all the sights and sounds of San
Diego Bay, I forget about the wheelchair sitting on the dock. I’m always looking forward to my next sail.

“To the generous volunteers and donors who make this all happen, I can’t thank you enough!”

Eric Berkey, Challenged America Participant

On behalf of all the Challenged America volunteers, thank you Eric, that’s why we volunteer

New Testimonial: Karen S.

I came to sail for the first time ever today!  What an incredible experience!  The feeling of controlling that sailboat was amazing!  I feel like it was some type of peaceful work; the entire experience was peaceful and enjoyable, but I also learned that sailing takes a lot of work and concentration.  I like that!  I had never really thought about which way the wind is blowing:  whether it was on my nose, on my right ear, or over my shoulder.  Learning to analyze this, I was able to maneuver the sailboat without continuous “hints” from my “teacher,” John.

John was one of the most gifted teachers I’ve ever met!  He started by explaining and describing every part of the Martin 16, and then as we moved away from the dock, the descriptions became more vivid.  Although I am totally blind, I felt like I was seeing the seals sun bathing on top of the buoys, the birds surrounding a small fishing boat, waiting for something to eat, or the various types of “traffic” that passed us throughout our short voyage.  I learned how to tack, how to move the boat so that it hit the small waves at a 45-degree angle rather than sideways, and how to pull the sail in when it begins to flap in the wind.  John never stopped teaching during those two hours of sailing, and I could have learned from him all day!

From the moment I arrived, I felt very welcome, and enjoyed meeting so many people, who definitely have a passion for sailing.  Thank you for allowing me to participate in this sailing experience and for providing such a gifted volunteer to assist me.  Thank you for keeping this program going, and now that I know what life-changing experiences occur there, I will definitely recommend that my friends and clients come and join the fun and learn how to sail.  I will also spread your mission and goals around in order to find people who will donate to this wonderful organization, so it can continue to thrive.  I am eager to return and sail again–hopefully with John!  Again, thanks just aren’t enough!

Karen S., Challenged America Participant

Urban’s Corner

It seems like most people don’t really pay attention to a disease or disability until it strikes them or someone they love. Yet, many who are not (yet) disabled dot suppor and donate to organizations and programs that support the disabled, for various reasons, but fully committing themselves and their resources to a cause tends not to appear the norm . . . until that dreaded illness or injury hits.

Believe me, everyone in the charitable sector appreciates all – and in any amount – that contributors provide, be it resources, talent, assets, time, and/or cash and regardless of their reason behind the gift – whether personal, tax mitigation, emotional, or another self-serving intention. Such gifts are (mostly) welcome and most needed by all trying to do a charitable good in the community and for society.

We’re now at that “Holiday Gift Giving Time” and we’re all getting bombarded with emotionally-driven appeals to support a charity or cause, and you’ll be getting such a message from us at Challenged America and the Disabled Businesspersons Association (DBA) as well. This is the time of year most make donations and gifts; and the time which most charities, like us, do rely on to support the coming months of operations and plan expanded services and programs.

So when you receive our request for financial and other support, along with the flood of other pleas for help, we hope our message hits your heartstrings and you will consider Challenged America and the DBA too.

We also hope you will investigate the organizations, programs and causes you plan to give to, making sure they are really using your generosity to fulfill their mission and serve those they are authorized by the IRS to help … and your generous gift is being spent or allocated where you want it to go.

I recently called a donor and asked why he and his wife decided to make a donation to the DBA? His response was:

We want to make sure our gift goes for the right purpose, and we do this by first asking how much in salary and benefits the Executive Director, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board make.

From the response, we can quickly narrow the field of those we will donate to, as it gives us a measurement of where funds are being prioritized and allocated. ”

It’s surprising how many charities don’t directly answer our question, and of those who do, the majority only refer us to their latest tax return, and how to get it online. At the DBA, your response was quick and to the point … and that’s why we sent you our check.”

Thank You,
Urban Miyares
Challenged America, co-founder
Disabled Businesspersons Association, volunteer president