Freedom Waters Foundation Founder Debra Frenkel was one of the the 2013 AAUW Women of Achievement Honorees.

Debra Frenkel shares love on and off the water. The former inner city high school social worker got her feet wet after she learned to sail, volunteered in a sailing program for people with disabilities and eventually founded her own non profit, Freedom Waters Foundation.  At Freedom Waters, people of all ages and abilities can experience on-water therapeutic activities. There are yacht outings for cancer patients, youth at risk, and others with special needs, and most recently a veterans’ program.  Freedom Waters Foundation offers options specifically for girls, to encourage self-empowerment, socialization and skill-building through fishing and volunteering.  With each experience, smiles and lifelong memories are made!   And, bridges are built among boat owners, volunteers and participants who might not otherwise meet, creating a greater sense of community.

Picture this:

  • A child with a ventilator in a heavy wheelchair getting out on the Gulf of Mexico, experiencing its splash and the wind on her face for the first time.
  • A veteran with PTSD relaxing and feeling safe out on the water.
  • A family challenged with cancer enjoying some carefree moments.

Freedom Waters Foundation has expanded, with a second office in Fort Lauderdale.  Debra has also been instrumental in guiding other adaptive sailing programs around the country. She has  been the Chair of the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship for four years. And, has received the Hodges University Dr. Harold Russell Excellence in Diversity Award and the YachtWorld Heroes Award for her work with Freedom Waters Foundation.  Debra’s heartfelt commitment continues to  “making wonderful things happen on and around the water for all.”