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'Tall Ship' sets sail, high school students wanted

September 18, 2003

Photo of a Tall Ships student using a navigational deviceTall Ship Semester for Girls is looking for San Francisco Bay Area high school girls interested in an experiential education program sponsored by the University that combines sailing and academics. The upcoming session begins in January 2004 and the application deadline is Sept. 26.

Founded by SFSU alum Caitlin Schwarzman (M.A. Education ‘98) in 1998, Tall Ship Semester for Girls introduces students to the sea and sailing while at the same time fostering teamwork, cooperation and self-confidence. They meet the challenge of mastering rigorous sailing skills as they engage in academic study and visit diverse cultures at many Caribbean ports.

Initially based at a local high school, earlier this year, the program became part of the Tall Ship Education Academy, a special project of SFSU.

In January students will participate in land-based training on campus in preparation for their time at sea. During the two months aboard the 110-foot ship, the girls assume all crew responsibilities, from hauling anchors to cleaning, steering and navigating the ship. The girls also engage in academic work while at sea, taking classes such as biological oceanography and Caribbean literature. Day trips at ports of call during the voyage are used to introduce students to local cultures and history.

Exposing participants to the vastly different experience of living, studying and working at sea has a significant influence on the girls' lives.

"It gives the girls a venue in which to learn how to communicate and work with each other effectively, and it builds skills and gives the students a sense of accomplishment, of successfully completing a huge project," said Tall Ship program coordinator Nettie Kelly. "Many of the life skills that they learn or refine -- communication, effective leadership, responsibility -- they will come home and apply to their life situations."

High school girls in the San Francisco Bay Area who are in 10th, 11th, or 12th grades are eligible to apply. Applicants need to submit an application form, high school transcripts and two teacher recommendations. For more information on the program and application procedures visit the Tall Ships Web site.

-- Christina Holmes with Public Affairs Student Writer Javier Jiménez








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Last modified September 18, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs