I think OCC's Professional Mariner program is a complete gem – there's no other program like it. When I first started taking classes at the OCC Sailing Center, it blew me away that there was something like that available to students who were interested in pursuing careers in the maritime industry at the community college level.
Captain Prioleau really pushed me to do bigger and better things. I was in the program, and I didn't really know what I was going to do after I was done. She introduced me to the California Maritime Academy, which is the school I attend now.
I do want to become a maritime pilot someday. Currently I'm onboard with the Alaska Tanker Company, and it's because of the work ethic that I learned at Cal Martime and in OCC's Professional Mariner program, that I'm where I'm at today.
When I'm out on the open ocean, knowing that there's only a small percentage of people in the world who have been to that part of the world, it definitely opens your mind and your heart for the love of the sea.