By Giselle Esparza, MHS Student Blogger
My name is Giselle Esparza, and my experience at Maritime High School has been great! Previously, I attended a massive school in Arizona where it was always hot, everyone was sweaty, and we just sat in a classroom doing worksheets. It was much different compared to my life now in Seattle, where it’s not always so hot, it rains a lot, my school is smaller, and I’m doing things that I never would have thought I had an interest in or even had a chance to do!
Sometimes it can suck moving away from home and not being able to see family all the time while trying to adapt to living with other people. But, I also know that not everyone can get the chance to do something like this, so I took the opportunity to go to this high school and change my life. Before I moved out here, I had been doing online school for 2 years and my mental health was horrible over those years. I experienced a lot of things I wish I hadn’t, but those horrible experiences made me who I am today and, for that, I am thankful.
Most of the people in the maritime industry are older white men, and this high school is trying to change that with diversity and more women. Women, people of color, and people who don’t come from wealth are under-represented in the maritime industry, and encouraging diversity is a very powerful and huge change in the industry.
Lately at Maritime High School, we’ve been working on building our own boats and ROV boats with materials starting at a “250,000-dollar” budget. You can use that money to buy the things you need like wood, styrofoam, metal, nets, weights, motors. We’ve also been talking to legislators about how much microplastic we found in the water and how it’s affecting our environment and the future of our nation. As part of our microplastics unit, we explored the Duwamish and South Park community and tested water samples by collecting them and then taking them to the lab and putting them under the microscope to see if we can observe microplastics in the water! In the end, the Des Moines creek had more plastics than the beach did. We also are learning a tribal language called Lushootseed! With all the skills that I’m learning, and am going to learn from this high school, I can tell I will have a bright future ahead of me.