My name is Meghan Reilly and this past winter I was an Education and Outreach intern with NAMEPA. I am currently a 1st Class Cadet at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, graduating this June.
While with NAMEPA I was given the opportunity to travel to Houston, TX in February to attend the Marine Operations Conference along with presenting to four different schools on Maritime Industry Careers and Marine Science Careers. We landed in Houston and hit the ground running heading straight to The Lawson Academy to present to their 8th grade class. Here we talked with them about their careers and they showed an interest in the Maritime Academies and what my time has been like at the Academy. They were engaged in the different activities that we had for them and got to learn more about what they are doing.
The next morning, we traveled to La Porte High School in La Porte Texas. Here we presented in their Logistics and Shipping class in the CTE section of the high school. We presented to three different classes during the morning. Many of these did not know of the opportunities that the Maritime Industry has to offer. They started to understand the depth and diversity of the careers from offshore, inshore, and onshore.
We connected with the President of the Eco Club at La Porte and was able to give her some materials and they will be partnering with us as the club gets going. Our next stop was Blanson CTE High School in Houston. This school is brand new only being around four years! This school was completely a technical school with all seniors graduating with certifications in the specialties that they chose to pursue during their time there. This allows the students to graduate and be ready to go into the workforce. Here we presented to the senior logistics students and though the school does not currently have a maritime-related logistics course, there is interest in starting one. They will also be participating in the Adopt a Ship Program through NAMEPA this coming fall with their freshman class.
Thursday we held the Marine Operations Conference at the Houston Pilots where new technologies and recaps of recent seminars were presented. Just before our flight out on Friday, we spoke to one more high school, Stephen F. Austin High School to their logistics and distribution class. They were very interested in the number of job opportunities in the maritime industry and the marine sciences. They had a lot of questions about my marine science experiences. They were able to learn some from their teachers about their previous careers and the places these jobs could take them. Though our time was short, the impact that we were able to make on these students is something that will last a lifetime. Many of these students had no idea of what the maritime industry could offer them.
Living so close to one of the largest ports in the US, it was crazy to think that they had no idea of what was right outside their doors. Hopefully, we were able to shed some light on these jobs and sparked the fire to expand their horizons to great goals.