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With Rear Admiral Francis McDonald, Governor Charlie Baker, and Mayor Marty Walsh listening, Karina Pena-Seda tells her story about attending Roxbury’s John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science and then graduating from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

With Rear Admiral Francis McDonald, Governor Charlie Baker, and Mayor Marty Walsh listening, Karina Pena-Seda tells her story about attending Roxbury’s John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science and then graduating from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Boston Public School officials to announce the expansion of a dual enrollment program that will guarantee admission to the maritime college. College officials also pledged to fully-fund financial aid needs for qualified students from the John D. O’Bryant High School who are enrolled in the partnership program and admitted to the Academy.

More from the Cape Cod Times’ Cynthia McCormick:

The president of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Rear Adm. Francis McDonald, on Tuesday traveled to the Roxbury high school to announce a new partnership that would guarantee admission and full financial aid coverage for up to 24 qualified students a year.

“This partnership is a game changer for students, their families and our community,” John D. O’Bryant Headmaster Tanya Freeman-Wisdom said during a student assembly attended by Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and state education officials.

John D. O’Bryant students who participate in the partnership will receive full scholarships to Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Sea, Science and Leadership Program in addition to free participation in dual enrollment courses offered by the academy at the high school, McDonald said.

The announcement comes as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing education series, as state officials are highlighting various education programs, initiatives and funding opportunities from early education to college level, all aimed at providing a quality and affordable education for every student in the Commonwealth.

“Exposing Massachusetts students to college-level courses while they are in high school will create more opportunities for them and improve their overall educational experience,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “The expanded partnership between Mass Maritime and the John D. O’Bryant will strengthen both schools and all students involved and could serve as a model for similar programs across the Commonwealth.”

Mass Maritime Academy and the John D. O’Bryant High School first launched dual enrollment courses in the fall of 2015, aided by a $30,000-a-year state dual enrollment grant. Academy faculty travel to the high school in Roxbury once a week to teach classes in coastal navigation, emergency management, and introduction to engineering. Students can earn up to 12 college credits, and receive mentoring and college counseling. They are also eligible for scholarships to attend the Academy’s summer academic camps, Sea, Science and Leadership.

Since the program’s inception, nearly 100 students have completed at least one dual enrollment course. School officials hope to greatly increase that number with the expanded partnership.

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