1. What prompted you to apply for the James R. Lawrence Scholarship? What was the application process?
My Cultural Club advisor, Patricia Norman had contacted me briefly to speak about this award. She thought it suited me to the “T,” and I couldn’t agree more. Having seen my fellow peer Ian Sulzer apply to the 1st Annual James R. Lawrence Scholarship and receive it gave me a push to follow through and apply. Being a college student has its financial burdens; with the James R. Lawrence Scholarship, it will help my family and I greatly. When applying, I was very hopeful to become the 2nd recipient and have this scholarship follow through SUNY Maritime.
2. What is your connection to Maritime?
As a child, I wasn’t born around the water; therefore I didn’t have much of a connection to the ships, sailing, or boats. The only thing related to the water that I loved was swimming. My mother took me to a couple of YMCA classes and I was in love! The water appealed to me from then on. My brother’s 8th grade graduation was actually held at SUNY Maritime and I had never seen a college campus before. It was beautiful. Right by the water and not to far away from home. I didn’t put much thought into thinking I’d actually go here as a college student but I felt a connection to Maritime. While starting my application process rather early, I looked into Maritime to find its Engineering degrees to be nationally recognized and ABET Accredited. After reading this I thought, “Next stop, Maritime!”
3. Were you surprised to learn you had won? What was your first thought?
After learning I had won this scholarship, my smile wouldn’t come down. At any point of the day that you see me, without a doubt I have a smile. However, this smile was different. It was full of excitement! I feel so blessed to be honored with this award. My eyes were lit up and I felt so proud of myself because I made it! My first thought was, “ Wow! Is this real? Am I the awardee?” Then appeared my smile, I felt on top of the world!
4. What is your plan now that you won the James R. Lawrence Award?
I always have a plan for the future, without a doubt. It wasn’t until recently that my plan changed for this award. Meeting with James R. Lawrence at the Connecticut Maritime Association was an honor. He asked me what my plan was for the summer and I told him I applied to several internships, but recently was denied one because of my status as a freshman student. Without a hesitation, he offered me the chance to intern for him if any of the other companies didn’t give me a chance. Immediately I said, “Can I take it now!” He gladly gave me his card and told me to e-mail him. By looking into transportation travels, I noticed that it was pricy and distant but nothing will get in the way of my studies. This award can help me with transportation costs to and from Connecticut, as well as food. The rest of this award money I will use towards summer classes if the internship ends before summer classes begin. There is nothing better then getting ahead of my academic curriculum. If I don’t make it in time for summer classes, I plan to put this money in a savings account. When I graduate, I’ll have a little cushion to start with.
5. What is your advice to someone looking to study Maritime?
My advice to a future Maritime student is don’t let anything get in your way. There will be times were you are exhausted and drained from work but don’t let that stop you from pursing your degree. As long as what you pursue is what you love, get these 4 years of hard excruciating work out of the way and enjoy the rest of your life not ‘working’ another day in your life. “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”