USS Wasp Visits Apollo Middle School
Eleven Sailors and one Marine assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) visited Apollo Middle School April 26 to give students perspective on Navy life during Fleet Week Port Everglades.
During the visit, Sailors discussed their mission, benefits, and experiences in the naval service with the students. The Sailors answered a variety of questions ranging from Wasp’s capabilities to humanitarian missions.
“I thought this was a great experience for our students,” said Lori Bruno, an 8th grade reading teacher. “The Sailors really did a great job explaining their jobs to the students and really got them involved and opened their eyes to careers and opportunities they didn’t know a lot about before.”
Apollo Middle School is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) magnate school that integrates practical applications into its curriculum using real life scenarios.
“This exposed our students to Sailors in S.T.E.M. related career fields and opened their eyes to the opportunities that are out there for them,” said Winfred Porter, S.T.E.M. magnate coordinator. “It is easy to get off track while in school, so having Sailors come really helps motivate the kids to do better and to have high aspirations and see that what they do now will help them in the future.”
The Sailors who volunteered spoke highly of their experience.
“I really wanted to talk to the kids and to hear what they had to say,” said Aviation Boatswains Mate (Fuels) 3rd Class (AW) John Aguma. “They were actively engaged throughout the presentation and had so many great questions for us. I think it was a big success.”
Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Julie Lechnar jumped at the chance to speak to students because she had never been exposed to the Navy when she was in middle school and thought it was important to motivate the students while they were young.
“I think this really opened their eyes to the opportunities that are out there for them,” said Lechnar. “It showed them the importance of their actions and choices now, and it was definitely a successful and fun day for everyone.”
Students like 6th grader Toni-Lee Brown had never met a Sailor before and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity.
“It is really nice to know that there are people out there protecting us,” said Brown. “I really liked hearing their stories about traveling around the world and seeing new things. I think getting to ask questions was my favorite part.”
After going class to class and speaking with students, service members got the opportunity to talk with Mr. Shawn Aycock, Apollo Middle School principal, who was grateful.
“We truly appreciate everyone for coming out and helping to motivate our students,” said Aycock. “To see how well they responded to you all and how engaged they were shows me how much they enjoyed the time and I think it was great.”
Naval Today Staff , April 30, 2012; Image: navy