A Youth’s Passion for sailing, STEM, and leadership leads to St. Mary’s

Five years ago, Troy Moss had never stepped foot on a sailboat, today she helps lead the STEM Summer Sailing Camp at Downtown Sailing Center in Baltimore, MD.

All her life Troy had been surrounded by water and had fallen in love with everything it had to offer. When she turned fourteen she went to Baltimore City’s YouthWorks summer jobs program in search of a job, her only requirement, to be near the water. The program placed her at Downtown Sailing Center as part of the Sailing Instructor Training (S.I.T.) Workforce Development Program.

As part of the Sailing Instructor Training Workforce Development Program trainees not only learn how to sail but they also develop leadership and coaching skills that they can apply on and off of the water. They also get to work closely with professional preparatory instructors to help them prepare for the SAT. As part of the training they have to successfully complete the US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling course as well as the US Sailing Basic Keelboat course.

After Troy completed the Sailing Instructor Training program she applied to come back to Downtown Sailing Center as a Sailing Instructor and has worked closely with the STEM program, based off of US Sailing’s Reach Initiative.

US Sailing launched the Reach Initiative in 2012 as part of a national education initiative to inspire sailing programs, like Downtown Sailing Center, to utilize sailing as an educational platform. Downtown Sailing Center implements several of the Reach modules from the Reach Educator Guide, one being Troy’s favorite, buoyancy.

During the Buoyancy Module kids make boats out of clay, put their boats in water and place pennies inside of their model boats and see if they sink or float. Whatever their outcome they might be they can adjust their model and try again until the create a floating boat. Troy’s favorite part of the module, “It teaches the students to not be afraid of the boat, they want to to build the boat so that it doesn’t sink and doing that helps them overcome their fears.”

Troy will complete her first year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in May majoring in English and minoring in Dance with the hopes of becoming a teacher one day.

Written By Windy Key