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Miami-Dade High Schoolers Get Maritime Career Training At Port Everglades

Some Miami-Dade high schools are trying a new way to get kids ready for life after graduation: getting them to see first-hand job opportunities that aren't usually presented at job fairs. 

That's how top students from 16 different Miami-Dade high schools got to board the Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship on Friday and explore career opportunities in the cruising industry. 

“It’s huge!,”  said Booker T. Washington senior Kiona Collins when she first walked on deck .

After graduation, one of the things she’s considering is becoming a cruise ship dancer.

“I’m just hoping to see something I’ve probably never seen before,” she said.

Collins and the other students were chosen to come on board to meet workers from every level of Celebrity Cruise’s different career paths. 


"Finally I said, 'Wait a moment. I remember that I wanted to become one of these people that are on these ships, and they are moving all around the world,'" Port Capt. Grigoris Chronopoulos said.

The Council for Educational Change organized the field trip. The nonprofit’s president and executive director, Dr. Elaine Liftin, said the students had to bring their principals onboard with them for good reason.

“Leadership is the key,” she said. “And if the principal is not on board and aware and willing, nothing happens.” 

Council members hope to expose students, along with principals and teachers, to careers students might not hear about in a class or at a traditional job fair. Then principals can carry what they see back to the rest of their student bodies.

Celebrity’s port captain, Grigoris Chronopoulos, was reminded of his own calling to a career at sea while he was talking with the students about what he does every day.

“It means a lot,” Chronopoulos said. “I remember myself trying to figure out what I’m going to do for my life." 

The Celebrity Silhouette had already begun boarding passengers for its next Caribbean trip, headed to Antigua. 

Much to the students’ dismay, they couldn’t stay on board for that part.

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
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