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Harbor School: the BOP Powerhouse

By Susannah Black
June 14, 2016

 

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Yesterday marked Harbor School’s annual Senior Awards Banquet.  Harbor School faculty and BOP staff had the opportunity to recognize particular students for the achievements of the past four years, and as the awards went on, themes began to emerge: students who had gone above and beyond their schoolwork, who had pushed past difficulty, who were the ones that their classmates called on regularly to lend a hand.

And BOP, of course, had in many cases served as the frame in which this work, these strengths of character, were demonstrated and developed.

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How does this work in the context of particular students’ stories?  Jessie Floyd provides an excellent example.  Winner of the Service and Government Engagement Award, conferred by Senator Daniel Squadron and presented by Matthew Haiken of the Harbor Foundation, Jessie has on countless occasions throughout her years at Harbor driven and crewed on vessels being used for BOP purposes.  A member and frequent leader of Harbor Corps, the BOP student group that meets off the 7:30 a.m. ferry Fridays on a volunteer basis to plan BOP work, she also received one of the Vessel Operations CTE awards.  As related by Aaron Singh, Vessel Ops head and Waterfront Director,

When she started out, she said she wanted to get a Coast Guard license before she graduated.  She’s almost there.  She’s going for her USCG 100 ton mate inland license, and we mailed the packet to the coast guard on Friday.  She’ll be the first Harbor School student to get this before she graduates.

Jessie & Matthew

Such licensure requires many hours of logged on-water experience, and a large number of those hours were, for Jessie, dedicated to BOP-related crewing. Her dedication to student government– she’s active on the student council– and to wider political engagement is paralleled by her commitment to BOP, to her fellow students, and to the maritime world of which she’s become a part. BOP would not work without students like Jessie who show up every day to give their hard work and creativity to the task of restoring this Harbor.

Jeremy

Presenting the BOP award to Marine Biology Research Program students Cezanne Bies and Zain Bin Khalid, BOP director Pete Malinowski described the way this unusual mutually supporting relationship between Harbor School and BOP has worked in these students’ lives:

You guys all know this, but without Harbor School BOP would be nothing. There are not enough awards to reflect the number of volunteer hours you’ve put in to keep boats running, to do the needed welding, to growing oysters… 

Jessie is just one of many students whose Harbor School careers reflect this kind of dedication.  They are the backbone of BOP, and we are very proud of them.