… we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean … we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came. JFK, ‘62
2/C Amanda Ballassi was boating with her family at the age of four months. Talk about having salt water in your veins! Today, she is “boating” at the Academy and pursing a degree in International Maritime Business. This water sprite turned cadet, is a 2010 graduate of Waterford High School, Waterford, CT. She earned the rank of Sea Scout in 2006. Previously called Sea Explorers, Sea Scouting is a coed outdoor program for young adults, 14 - 20 years old and their adult advisors. It is a division of the Boy Scouts of America, commonly referred to as senior scouting, and dedicated to promoting better citizenship, improving members boating skills and knowledge through instruction and practice in water safety and knowledge of maritime history among other things. This past spring, Ballassi earned the rank of Quartermaster, the highest rank in Sea Scouts, equivalent to Eagle Scout.
In 2008, a newspaper article on Ballassi’s experience at an advanced Scout leadership training course was forwarded to MMA’s Director of Admissions. He contacted her immediately. “I came up here in ‘09 from Connecticut, shortly after the T S Enterprise (now Kennedy) had returned from Sea Term, to tour the school. Not being from Massachusetts, I had not heard of the school. After my first visit, I loved it – the regiment, the uniform, the ship … and the Academy’s job placement record and average starting salary of its graduates,” she noted.
For years, the Academy has enjoyed a special kind of partnership with Scouting. Its focus, goals and traditions make for a similar culture. Amanda Ballassi is one of the most recent Scouting success stories at the Academy. Her discovery of and placement at the Academy is perhaps a match made in heaven …. certainly one made on the water.