Sea of Opportunities: About Us
Our mission is to create a bridge between Nantucket’s historical connection with the sea and today’s young Nantucketers, enriching their future professional and personal lives by exposing them to maritime traditions, trades, and sciences.
“…two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer's. For the sea is his; he owns it.” -Herman Melville, Moby-Dick.
Melville’s words were no study in hyperbole, for in the 19th century Nantucket sailors could well lay claim to a vast aquatic empire. Their exploits became the stuff of legend. But today, surprisingly few Nantucket youths have a deep appreciation for their rich seafaring heritage, and fewer still are venturing into maritime careers.
The Egan Maritime Institute felt a passion, as well as a responsibility, to educate our island’s students in the maritime world. Thus, Sea of Opportunities (SOO) was born. SOO will provide Nantucket students with an opportunity to expand their appreciation of the island’s extensive maritime history, while introducing them to the maritime world of today.
Through an unprecedented collaboration with the Nantucket Public Schools, Nantucket Lighthouse School, and Nantucket New School, we have the chance to engage approximately 750 middle and high school age students. Our SOO teachers work with our island schools to develop a maritime curriculum that will include interdisciplinary lessons, field trips and a speakers program.
An important effort of SOO will be to establish partnerships with other local organizations. During the Summer of 2013 we launched our first initiative, a two-week maritime program in conjunction with Nantucket Community Sailing. Aboard our recently restored Monomoy surf boat, the program introduced maritime skills to children ages 10 and up. Following in the footsteps of 19th century coastal lifesavers, students will develop seamanship, self-reliance, and problem-solving ability; all while having fun and forming new friendships.