Food for thought

How a Sea|mester Voyage Turned One Student’s Passion into a Career

Casey Holt is no stranger to the high seas.

As a 2014 Sea|mester alumni and an ActionQuest staff member, Casey has sailed thousands of miles under the flag of adventure and education. Yet these days Casey finds herself preparing for an incredible new experience – one in which the skills she learned during her voyage as a student with Sea|mester will be put to the test.

Operating as a Program Manager with the Oliver Hazard Perry Education Program in Newport, Rhode Island, Casey finds herself filling a variety of roles in preparation for the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry’s next departure. From training new crew-members to stocking the galley with fresh food, Casey can always expect a day at work to be anything but typical. She is responsible for virtually every operational aspect of the ship and her crew, and as it turns out, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is scheduled to undertake a series of voyages this spring ranging from Cuba to the Arctic Circle. As Casey states, “The preparation for our upcoming voyages has been an enormous challenge, but not an unfamiliar one. A lot of the preparations come down to things very similar to what we did with Sea|mester: finding suitable ports for the boat, making sure we have access to fresh food in port, and generally just making sure the vessel is ready to sail on departure day.”

Consequently, Casey’s leap from a Sea|mester student to a young professional in the sailing industry does not come as a shock; She explains, “I didn’t realize sailing was my passion until I spent a semester on S/Y Ocean Star with Sea|mester. It was my first experience with educational sailing programs, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that I had found my purpose and myself. Ever since that voyage I have been striving to give students the same life-changing experiences that I was given on Sea|mester.”

As educators, we live for stories like Casey’s. Seeing our students take the skills they learn aboard our vessels and turn them into something incredible is one of the greatest joys that we experience here at Sea|mester, and we can’t wait to see what the future crews of S/Y Argo and S/Y Ocean Star will bring to our next voyage. Where will your passion guide you?