Students at Osprey Learning Center - Jesse Spain, Nick Chadwick, Scott Hagler, and T.J. Smith - were recently invited to take a tour of the Coast Guard at Humboldt Bay.
The students were able to get an inside view of the Coast Guard’s station and living quarters, which included a walk through of the 1930s Victorian mansion (originally built for the Navy in 1935) and a thorough introduction to the monster-powered motor lifeboats (built to sustain and operate during the most severe conditions at sea).
When asked his thoughts about how the visit went, Nick Chadwick instantly responded, "Sweet!.. It was awesome! It was a really good experience."
What started out to be another sleepy day at school turned into an excellent happenstance of inspiration. While the other guys, Scott Hagler, T.J. Smith, and Jesse Spain initially laughed at Nick’s enthusiasm, they were not too shy to boldly agree.
"They have it so set up." Scott added, "Those boats are so sick and they’re living situation is amazing - a huge house with access to the watch tower, a PS3 system, and a sweet, fully-loaded gym with a hot tub."
T.J. followed up with, "And, they cover the entire bill of wherever you choose to go to college afterwards."
"Yeah," Jesse agreed, "I was really wanting to be a helicopter pilot, but I think I switched my mind to working on a boat like that."
No one was sure who was more surprised, them or their teacher, when they hugged her goodbye and said they’d see her tomorrow. They learned that the Coast Guard is fairly competitive and that it’s highly recommended, along with being well worth the effort, to work at getting a high school diploma (over a G.E.D.), even if only mildly interested.
The main piece of advice that they took away from the officer who gave the tour: keep your options open.
PHOTOS BY NATALIE ROSE
1. Osprey students, Jessie Spain, Nick Chadwick, Scott Hagler, and AmeriCorps member, Michelle Cartier, get an inside look at the engine room on one of the Coast Guard’s high-powered 40 ft. motor lifeboats.
2. AmeriCorps member, Michelle Cartier, and OLC students, T.J. Smith, Scott Hagler, Jesse Spain, and Nick Chadwick listen up to some words of advice given by a Coast Guard officer at Humboldt Bay.