Captain Sandy Yawn launches ocean education program for kids

Fans of Under the Mediterranean Bridge know Captain Sandy Yawn as a seasoned maritime professional, but before she found success at sea, she struggled to navigate her own life. Now she is embarking on a whole new adventure in her career and hopes to change the lives of children who may face challenges that she can relate to.

In an interview with The dish of the day, Sandy spoke about the beginnings of her career and how she is drawing inspiration from a time in life when she was “still lost” to help students with her new educational program, Captain Sandy and the Ocean Rangers.

“I’ve always been in trouble, I’ve always been like, ‘Why did this happen to me? “Right on this ride,” Sandy explained. “And then I responded to an ad in the newspaper. At the time, that’s how we got jobs. I went to work for this guy and started to work on this boat. We took to the sea, then I realized, “Wow, I could be a captain. The captain driving the boat, he was drinking all the time, we crashed the boat everywhere we went, and I was like, “Is that all it takes?” I could do it.

Although she has a natural connection and an interest in the ocean – “I’m a Pisces, so I’m very connected to the water” – a lot of work has gone into honing her skills to become the successful captain of the ocean. ‘she is today. Recalling a time “in the 1980s” when the shipping industry was radically different without the laws and licenses that exist today, Sandy noted that she went to school with the help of a mentor, John Flint, who “invested” in her. She mastered subjects ranging from engineering to navigation and became increasingly motivated when she discovered that her knowledge would take her to places like the Bahamas, where she could admire “dolphins, sharks and all.” marine life ‘in clear waters while driving a boat. Years later, as Sandy became a recognizable face on Below Deck Med, she discovered that with the work came an unexpected share of responsibility.

“I realized how many children – shocking that their parents allow them to watch the show – come to me,” Sandy said. “And I’m talking about 7 and 8 year olds. It’s pretty wild. I was at a Pink concert and a kid said, “Captain Sandy! ” A child!”

From there, Sandy saw an opportunity to tap into a part of her personality that isn’t so obvious when she’s at the helm of a yacht.

“You can’t see that side of me that’s really playful. 90% of my personality is childish. 10% looks like an adult. If you talk to my family, they will tell you that I am a big kid. I am that person. I love animation, I love children’s stories, ”she shared. “The reason I’m so organized is that you know Smokey Bear?” When I was little I watched this show and [the characters] did not put the tools back in the toolbox to go fight the fire. So when he came back to get his tools, he couldn’t find them, so the forest burned down. So that post to me was, you just put your tools back in your toolbox. Little messages like this help shape children’s minds.

Sandy’s enthusiasm for animation, education and the sea culminated in the creation of Captain Sandy and the Ocean Rangers, a lively classroom program designed to teach children in grades two to four how to protect the ocean. Through a variety of cartoon expeditions, students will learn important lessons about boating, teamwork, extinction, recycling, ocean life and more. With a fundraising goal of $ 200,000, Sandy hopes to introduce the program to some elementary schools in her home state of Florida.

“My passion is being able to educate children. Because when I was a kid my sister was really smart and a straight student. I wasn’t that kid, ”Sandy said. “I was in special education classes because I was a slow learner. If I had had something like this… I think I would have had a very different path.

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