At times in life there are various activities and clubs that are thrown in your direction and it is up to you to determine whether or not to take advantage of these great opportunities or not. For example, I was offered a slot at Marion Military Institute, one of the preparatory schools the Coast Guard Academy uses, and I accepted it. It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but, it was still an opportunity to get me to the Academy, which was my goal and I succeeded in meeting that goal. As a 4/c now, I am looking to the future and at what I can bring to the Academy and eventually the fleet.
The one that I am actively a part of is the Diversity Peer Educators (DPE). We are all trained by the Anti-Defamation League. I was fortunate enough to be able to become a peer educator in high school through the Anti-Defamation League’s high school program so of course I jumped at the opportunity to continue that work on a campus where these lessons are more important than ever. As a member of, not only the Coast Guard, but a member of the Armed Services, we should be the model of what equality in all ways is.
The military, and the Coast Guard, are certainly not perfect, but as future leaders in the Coast Guard we can take certain steps to make the environment more welcoming for all people. The Coast Guard has grown and the Academy has become a more welcoming place for people of all types because the members themselves are inciting this change through the help of great organizations like the Anti-Defamation League. Whether it is here at the Coast Guard Academy or wherever your path takes you, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way because some things only happen once in a lifetime. In my opinion, the Coast Guard Academy is filled with these opportunities to do great things to better not only yourself, but your shipmates as well. Carry on, and do great things!
More about Nelson.