US Sailing is here to help Organization Members in many ways, one of which is to make sure they are aware of valuable opportunities in the sailing community. The America True scholarship at Oakcliff is one of those opportunities. This scholarship is reserved for Community Sailing graduates only, allowing them to take what they have learned at your sites and turn their passion into a full-time job.
Showing how interconnected our sport is, US Sailing Board Vice President Marie Rogers was integral in connecting one recipient, Stephanie Roney from San Pedro, California, to this opportunity in Oyster Bay, New York.
Born in Vietnam, Stephanie moved to the US in 2010 and settled in California. She eventually started living on a boat 5 years ago with her father. It was there that she met a dock neighbor, John Pieplow, who became a strong influence in her young life and introduced her to sailing.
Stephanie, now 15 explained, “It took a while to adjust (to living on a boat) but I love it. It gives me a chance to sail more often and is pretty much like living in a house, except the bathroom, obviously.”
Her dinghy sailing started with the Cabrillo Beach Youth Sailing Foundation where she sailed FJ’s and interned at the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club. Looking forward, Stephanie does not have much set in stone, but she is sure that she wants to sail collegiately wherever she attends school.
The peacefulness of sailing is a big part of why Stephanie loves the sport.
“It makes me feel free,” said Stephanie. “I can just be out on the ocean and I feel the breeze on my face. Everything is silent except for the wind on the sails.”
Stephanie will be joining Oakcliff this August to further her knowledge in match racing in the World Match Racing Tour Academy.
The America True scholarship is opening up a new world of opportunity – a new world that she would never have been able to explore without the support of her mentor, Cabrillo Beach Youth Sailing Foundation, and Oakcliff. We ask all community sailing directors to spread the word and make sure their sailors are aware of the opportunity. More information is available on the Oakcliff website including programs details and how to apply for an America True Scholarships
Oakcliff is located in Oyster Bay, New York and is a workforce training center for those wishing to explore a professional career in the sport of sailing and the associated marine industry. More than 90% of Oakcliff graduates are employed, and many are leaders in their field, playing roles in the America’s Cup, preparing for the Olympics or racing around the world.