This year again because of the overwhelming popularity of this program, the Florida Harbor Pilots Association (FHPA) is pleased to be able to offer three minority scholarships to cadets from one of the seven national maritime academies, who show enthusiasm and aptitude for a possible career as a state harbor pilot, preferably in the State of Florida. The selected recipients will each receive a $2,500 scholarship, plus all their pre-approved travel expenses to attend a short training session with a pilot association in Florida, where they will receive the scholarship, get hands-on experience, and be exposed to many aspects of a harbor pilot’s career.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, S.U.N.Y. Maritime College, California Maritime Academy, Texas A&M University at Galveston, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – Kings Point, or Great Lakes Maritime Academy
The deadline to apply for the 2024 scholarship is April 30, 2024. To apply CLICK HERE.
For more information on our association’s scholarship opportunities, please contact Gretchen Winters.
Brooke Foran, from Groveland, Florida, is an incoming freshman at Maine Maritime. She completed her maritime internship with the Jacksonville pilots in July.
Devin Noone, from Annapolis, Maryland, is a senior at SUNY Maritime Academy. She completed her maritime internship with the Tampa pilots in September.
Oscar Gonzalez, from Cooper City, Florida, is a sophomore at Maine Maritime. He completed his maritime internship with both the Port Everglades and Miami pilots in December.
Congratulations to the 2023 FHPA scholarship winners, Brooke Foran, Devin Noone and Oscar Gonzalez!
To the Florida Harbor Pilots Association,
Thank you so much for the opportunity to join the St. John’s Bar Harbor Pilots and for the scholarship.
Since I was unable to begin studying at an academy right out of high school, I gravitated towards the water and spent as much time on it as possible. I began as a trainee on Mystic Seaport’s Schooner Brilliant, I drove water taxis for Walt Disney World, I became a deckhand on the Schooner Tyrone, and I then moved onto Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s training vessel, Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey. While working aboard the Ernestina-Morrissey, I was able to be part of a 5knm journey from Massachusetts to Galveston, and back to MA. During all my time sailing up and down the east coast, I saw hundreds of different types of vessels. The lobster boats of Maine, schooners, square-riggers, sloops, tugs, barges, clippers, car ships, cargo vessels, tankers- you name it. And for every one of those vessels, I wondered what it would be like to drive something like that. What kind of steerages do they have? How do they navigate? What is it like to be on a metal beast with no sails? What is it like to tow? To have two engines? When I sat down and considered my career on the water, I realized I wanted to do it all. I want to experience everything I could and be a master of as many types of vessels as I can. I want to do it all. And that is why piloting became a career which shown so brightly on my radar. Pilots need to have the highest licenses. They are all highly experienced, and need to know how every type of vessel they might have to board functions. They do it all.
I cannot thank you all enough for the opportunity you presented to me. Not only will the scholarship you provided undoubtedly help me afford my studies at Maine Maritime Academy, but to be welcomed aboard as a cadet with you for a couple of days was an experience I could have only dreamed of!
Maine Marine Academy
Claire Hyun, from Issaquah, Washington, is a sophomore at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point). She completed her maritime internship with the Jacksonville Pilots in July.
Kent Baron, from Hollywood, Florida, is a sophomore at SUNY Maritime College. He completed his maritime internship with both the Port Everglades and Miami Pilots in August.
Congratulations to the 2022 FHPA scholarship winners, Claire Hyun and Kent Baron!
Florida Harbor Pilots Executive Committee,
Thank you so much for the incredible opportunity and generous scholarship. This past week was unforgettable.
It is hard to express just how much this experience meant to me. Becoming a harbor pilot is seen as the pinnacle of a career at sea and for the first time it does not feel out of reach. The effort made by the FHPA to train and mentor minorities in this industry is significant. I left Florida feeling hopeful, encouraged, and motivated to finish my senior year strong.
Thank you again for the opportunity to peek into the world of being a Florida Pilot!
Midshipman Claire Hyun 1/c
Class of 2023
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Juan Colon-Ortiz, from Riverview, Florida, is a sophomore at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He completed his maritime internship with the Tampa Pilots in October of 2021.
Congratulations to the 2020 FHPA scholarship winner, Juan Colon-Ortiz!
Fayth Stephenson, a junior at SUNY Maritime College. She completed her maritime internship with the Tampa Pilots in September.
Courtney Luce, a senior at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. She completed her maritime internship with the Canaveral Pilots in January.
Congratulations to the 2019 FHPA scholarship winners, Fayth Stephenson and Courtney Luce!
Congratulations to the 2018 FHPA scholarship winners, David Chen and Taylor Lacy!
Michelle Perri, a sophomore at the US Merchant Marine Academy from Miami. She completed her maritime internship with the Port Miami Pilots in September.
Jace Bravo, a junior at Texas Maritime Academy from Boca Raton. He completed his maritime internship with the Port Everglades Pilots in September as well.