STHS student gets scholarship from Maritime Institute |

STHS student gets scholarship from Maritime Institute

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports

Provided to the Tribune

The Maritime Institute of San Diego has awarded South Tahoe High School Junior ROTC Cadet Ransom Burford a $1,200 scholarship to pay for the two-week Master 100 Ton and Operator of Uninspected Passengers Vehicles course. The course will take place at South Lake Tahoe from April 19 through April 30.

Maritime Institute offers the Masters 100 Ton/six pack course every year in April at the Tahoe Keys Marina. This tradition has been going on for five years and the course will continue to be offered for the benefit of the Mariners in the Lake Tahoe area.

Cadet Burford, who will begin his university education this fall at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, is attempting to earn his OUPV captain’s license as part of his high school Senior Project. The Maritime Institute scholarship was based upon Burford’s high school academic standing, his acceptance to the California Maritime Academy, his keen interest in maritime affairs, and his involvement in the NJROTC program as well as the recommendation of Lt. Cmdr. Matt Williams, coordinator of the South Tahoe ROTC program.

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Burford, who ranks ninth of 422 students at South Tahoe High, was recently selected as one of 10 recipients in the United States for the $1,000 NJROTC Gilliam Academic Achievement Award. He served as the cadet commanding officer of the South Tahoe NJROTC unit, and member of the varsity rifle marksmanship, academic, color guard, drill, physical fitness and orienteering teams. He helped lead the South Tahoe NJROTC Academic Team to an 11th-place finish in the 2001 national academic championships. Burford, the recipient of the Advance Placement Scholar Award and the Presidential Academic Excellence Award, is a multi-year member of “Who’s Who Among America’s High School Students.” He worked as a deckhand aboard the motor-vessel Tahoe Queen and dockhand at the Timber Cove Marina, was a competitive sailor with the Windjammers Junior Sailing Program and still found the time to complete eight courses at Lake Tahoe Community College. He plans to graduate from Cal Maritime with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Transportation and a U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate Unlimited License.

The Master 100 Ton and Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels course is the Maritime Institute’s most popular offering. The institute provides training and administers the license examination on site. The 80-hour course is designed to have students achieve their goal of U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license, which allows them to captain a vessel with passengers for hire.

The Maritime Institute is headed by H.G. Rags Laragione, president and chief executive officer. Capt. Laragione is a retired Navy veteran who holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License of 100 Tons and a Mates License of 500 tons as well as an International Yachtmaster’s Offshore Instructor’s Certificate for both power and sail. The Maritime Institute was established in 1978 and is certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Maritime Center for federally approved courses, and is approved by the Peace Officer Standards and Training for California Law Enforcement. The institute is strictly regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Maritime Center, and its courses meet or exceed the requirements of Title 46 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Anyone interested in courses offered by the Maritime Institute can call them toll free at 1-888-262-8020 or access their Web site at

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