Before I took Sailing 101 at OCC, I had never been on a boat. Once I took that first course, I completely fell in love with it. It wasn't until I was about three classes in that I realized "This is what I want to do with my life."
I appreciate OCC so much because I feel like I grew up there. Before finding the Professional Mariner program, I didn't even know that there was a sailing profession that you could do. OCC opened doors for me - this is where I found my path.
Professor Prioleau was the one who encouraged me to apply for a maritime academy, and I am now a junior at Maine Maritime. At first, my mom wasn't sure, but once we went to visit the school, she said "This is where you're meant to be. Your face lit up the minute you arrived."
In the future, I can see myself working on a tug near the coast, or I could see myself working on a yacht. I just got offered a job as a mate on an 85-foot yacht – there are so many incredible opportunities out there once you have the education and experience needed to get you there.