Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Blake High maritime students to visit Maryland maritime college

TAMPA — Some of the students entered Jeremy Pacheco's class at Blake High School as an afterthought, others after developing water-borne interests such as scuba diving.

What they've all learned excites them: The shipping industry needs workers, lots of them, which means scholarship opportunities and high-paying jobs.

"I hope to be making over $80,000 and I'll be on a boat a least six months of the year," said 17-year-old Stephanie Smith, the diver.

Smith is one of four students in Pacheco's maritime studies class who will spend a week this summer, all expenses paid, at Calhoon MEBA Engineering School in Easton, Md., to learn more about the industry.

A fifth student, Brian Bonilla, made the trip last summer and will join the group for a second tour if there is room.

Supported by Port Tampa Bay's Propeller Club, the Hillsborough County school district has offered maritime studies programs for the past several years, first at Blake and Stewart Middle and now as a magnet program at Jefferson High.

The partnership makes sense, school officials say, as Port Tampa Bay alone offers a large number and variety of job opportunities.

Industry leaders say most maritime workers are in their 40s and 50s with the average age rising, creating a demand for workers in the coming decades.

"The port needs people," said 24-year-old Pacheco, who got into this discipline somewhat accidentally after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in environmental science.

Students say the Blake program went through several teachers, and some growing pains, as it got established.

Today it covers a progression of topics, including geography and oceanography, mapping, charting and the history of ships, as well as environmental sciences and career information.

In addition to opportunities such as the Maryland trip, students can get paid summer internships at the Tampa port.

"It gives you the opportunity to see a lot more than what you are confined to in one place like Florida," said Bonilla.

Robert Moncrief, 15, said he has enjoyed the field trips to the port.

"I think it would be cool to work like that every day," he said. "I want to explore the world."

Marlene Sokol can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3356.

Blake High maritime students to visit Maryland maritime college 06/11/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Another suspicious death in Tampa's Seminole Heights


    TAMPA — Police are investigating a suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights, near the location of two shooting deaths last week.

  2. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed the preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' basketball poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.
  3. Richard Spencer speaks, and Gainesville emerges weary but at peace


    GAINESVILLE — Fists raised, a sea of defiant student protesters at the University of Florida relentlessly shouted down the white nationalist on stage. Richard Spencer paced, irritated, clinging to his chance to talk.

    Protesters scream at supporters of Richard Spencer after his speech at the Phillips Center at the University of Florida.  [Thursday October 19, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Pentagon investigating troubling questions after deadly Niger ambush


    WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, troubled by a lack of information two weeks after an ambush on a special operations patrol in Niger left four U.S. soldiers dead, is demanding a timeline of what is known about the attack, as a team of investigators sent to West Africa begins its work.

  5. In the military, trusted officers became alleged assailants in sex crimes


    The Army is grappling with a resurgence of cases in which troops responsible for preventing sexual assault have been accused of rape and related crimes, undercutting the Pentagon's claims that it is making progress against sexual violence in the ranks.