In the Fall of 2009 a farm girl from Oregon left behind her land life and hopped aboard Roseway for what she thought would be a short adventure. She’d heard about the World Ocean School from a childhood friend whose uncle happened to be one of the school’s founders and captains. Despite never having been to sea and knowing nothing about sailing or the kind of education taught aboard, she packed a bag and headed east to join the crew in Gloucester, Massachusetts during the annual maintenance period.
Eden Leonard spent a few weeks getting to know Roseway inside and out, working in the grimy shipyard. Then she set sail for St. Croix, launching herself as a deckhand only for a short time before she was asked to step up as the Education Coordinator on board. She studied the curriculum earnestly, devoted herself to learning the sail training aspects, and quickly built strong bonds of trust and respect with the crew.
A year later, Eden was asked to take on the role of Education Director and she’s been a powerhouse for the organization ever since. She’s more than doubled the number of programs provided and the number of students served, raising revenues and expanding our demographics. Now after four years of total immersion in World Ocean School, Eden is moving on to new adventures that will lead her back home to Oregon.
“I have been constantly reminded of the remarkable power of this schooner, most notably in the relationships it builds with communities and individuals. I have lived and breathed the challenge and inspiration Roseway and World Ocean School bring to thousands of students, the crew, and the countless individuals who are welcomed on board each year,” says Eden.
These past six weeks she has been training a new Education Director who, despite having some big shoes to fill, is eager and capable of the task ahead. So on September 20th, Eden will say goodbye to Roseway taking with her the satisfaction of success that she has earned from her tireless work.
“I am proud,” she says, “of the growth I have witnessed and been a part of in these years and even more the extraordinary institution that continues to grow and prosper.”
We are proud to have had her on our team. And she knows that if ever she is drawn back to the sea, World Ocean School will be here to welcome her. Until then, we wish Eden happy trails ahead.