Orleans/Niagara BOCES Security and Law Enforcement teacher Dudley Gilbert recently had a special guest in class. Seaman Apprentice Ryan Burbee, who graduated from Mr. Gilbert's class at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, stopped in to talk to the current students about his enrollment in the Coast Guard. "I knew before high school that the Coast Guard is what I wanted," he told the class. "I chose Coast Guard because they are 100% dedicated to saving lives and protecting people. Even if you are stopping drug smugglers you are still saving lives. I reached out to my recruiter my sophomore year, so I knew what was expected of me and then I began to study and prepare myself."
The United States Coast Guard is one of the country's five armed services and is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is responsible for an array of maritime duties, from ensuring safe and lawful commerce to performing rescue missions in severe conditions. It defends America's borders and protects the maritime environment. One of the ways Burbee prepared himself for the Coast Guard was deciding to take the Security and Law Enforcement program. "I knew I didn't really want to be a police officer per se, but I knew that the class would prepare me to have attention to detail, good time management skills and be organized," he explains. "In the Coast Guard you actually do police work like stopping drug smuggling, so everything I learned was so beneficial. I am a firm believer that everything in life you want, you have to prepare yourself for. Coming to BOCES and having a retired State Police officer teach me, like Mr. Gilbert, I was truly blessed because it helped me to achieve that. He is wonderful and has given me great advice all along."
"I am so proud of this young man," says Mr. Gilbert. "Here is a student who was a SkillsUSA President, worked at John and Mary's outside of school and he was very popular. He had multi interests and he honed all the skills he was learning to prepare himself for the Coast Guard. He knew early on that this is what he wanted to do. A year and half out he started learning everything about the Coast Guard that he could. This was one of his dreams and he dedicated himself to that and made it happen."
"Coming to Orleans/Niagara BOCES was one of the best decisions that I could have made," says Burbee. "It helped me out a lot. All the students who come here are applying themselves and learning more about the field that they want to go into. It is giving them a preview of what that career will look like. How can I achieve this? How can I better myself? My advice to the current students here would be apply yourself once you make a checklist of what you want in life. That is what I did. It has worked out so far."