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A few of the people who received a free BST or AFF class from the Sea Sisters x MITAGS partnership have taken their classes! We recently spoke with one of the scholarship recipients, and here’s what she had to say:

Hello Sea Sisters!

This is Lauren McCool, writing to thank you again for the wonderful opportunity to take my Basic Safety Training course at MITAGS. The scholarship was THE reason I took the step to start seriously pursuing a career in the maritime industry.

I must say, the BST course was beyond my expectations. I learned SO MUCH! We were a small class, 4 guys and myself. I felt a bit nervous, but was at ease once the class began. Topics like personal safety, first aid, firefighting, survival at sea, and social responsibility were taught and discussed. We got time in a pool to practice donning immersion suits, deploying and swimming to a life raft (super cool!) and learning how to use clothing as a floatation device. We also went to a firefighting simulator site and got to FIGHT REAL FIRE! Full firefighting gear, breathing apparatus, water hoses, extinguishers, the whole deal. These were my favorite parts of the class – the practical application of skills we were taught. Those 5 days of classroom teaching and on-site training were an effective mixture of listening and doing. Plus, the BST book was ours to keep and is a great reference. And a shout out to the instructors: they’re knowledgeable, helpful, funny, and have plenty of real world experience.

I’m now considering doing a 2-year apprenticeship program with MITAGS to get to work on tugboats. Everyone there has been super helpful and supportive.

Many, many thanks to both Sea Sisters and MITAGS not only for their scholarship program but also for supporting and promoting women working in the maritime industry!

Thank you all so much!

– Lauren

And even more great news: Lauren tells us that after her positive BST experience, she is now interviewing for the 2-year workboat mate program at MITAGS, in which she’ll earn a mate’s license while working for a local tug company. We’ll keep you updated! Great job, Lauren, and thanks again MITAGS!