If you want to build a ship
don’t herd people together to collect wood
and don’t assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the
endless immensity of the sea.
Today I started a new job that I am very excited about. I joined Northeast Maritime Institute to, among other things, lead a new international maritime high school program for at risk underserved youth. The first is currently being launched in Bermuda but there are several others currently being charted around the globe. More on that as things develop.
I have written on many occasions about the benefits of maritime experiential education for youth. I am a product of this system and passionately believe in it’s power to positively influence young lives.
The programs that we are developing will (1) make sure that the young people complete a basic high school education or equivalent and (2) will be combined with a rigorous maritime training program from which these young adults will emerge with certified maritime credentials and a real good shot at lucrative career in the maritime industry. The most significant part of the program is the guarantee of career opportunities upon graduation. A tall order but one that we are charged up about and confident in meeting.
To me, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry quote captures the essence of what this program is all about. At the end of the voyage they may know how to sail the boat, but by graduation they will have learned and experienced so much more.
I look forward to updating you from time to time on our progress.
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