Egan Maritime Institute has paired up with Nantucket Public Schools to bring a new grant-funded program to island students: Early College and Innovative Pathway program. Currently, the Nantucket Public School (NPS) has passed through the first round of grant application process with an award of $10,000 and an invitation to launch the program. Following its launch, NPS will complete the second application process in hopes of being awarded a $140,000 grant to support the program moving forward.This grant will give high school students the opportunity to learn more about the maritime and healthcare industries, both of which are vital to Nantucket's community, and the many career paths that sustain them.
Speaking with Sea of Opportunities eighth grade Maritime/Oceanography Studies teacher, Amanda Knight Bardsley, Ph.d., she noted, "This grant program will provide Nantucket students the opportunity to learn about maritime and healthcare careers through the partnerships developed within the grant between the Nantucket Public Schools, Egan Maritime, Nantucket Cottage Hospital, and UMASS Field Station. Our goal is to help students develop a career path, and to give them a jump start with relevant internships, certifications, and coursework. The program is appropriate for students who know they want to go to college, but also those who are trying to figure out their plans following graduation from Nantucket High School. Many students who would be the first in their family to attend college often have difficulty envisioning themselves as college students. This program will help assist and direct them as to which path is the most appropriate and educate them as to the choices available. The Innovation Pathways grant not only gives students an opportunity to try out the college experience in an environment that comes with support and guidance, but also provides the opportunity for them to obtain hands-on experiences and credentials through internships."
Massachusettes's Governor, Charlie Baker said, "The Commonwealth's Early College and Innovative Pathway program plays an important role in encouraging many young people to pursue higher education, while exposing them to high-demand career opportunities."
On Thursday, April 26 the Nantucket Public School's eighth grade students enjoyed a day-long field trip to explore and experience the maritime businesses and services that have volunteered to be part of the Early College and Innovative Pathway program. Students toured Madaket Marine, Coast Guard Station Brant Point, the Shellfish Hatchery, and Community Sailing's boat maintenance facility to learn more about their work as well as internship opportunities available to them at the sites. Additionally, the students enjoyed meeting with representatives from Northeast Maritime at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum to hear about the college courses offered in
the program, and also with Nantucket Harbor Master, Sheila Lucey, at the Town Pier and administrative offices on Washington Street.