Last month we reported that Royal Caribbean were going back to school to find the godmother for their newest ship, Harmony of the Seas. The good news is that their search was successful and they’ve found a fitting candidate to fill the role: Brittany Affolter from Teach for America Miami-Dade.
The 23-year-old educator will join an illustrious list of celebs, athletes and even royals in being named a cruise ship godmother. Affolter caught the attention of the Royal Caribbean team with her dedication to providing high-quality education to at-risk and low-income students. Despite her tender years, Affolter already trains teachers at 14 high-need schools as well as tutoring her own students. All of this is taking place whilst she is training to become a mentor for children in foster care and completing a master’s degree in educational leadership.
Her crusade to provide much-needed education to at-risk and low-income children stems from her own childhood, when she grew up in a challenging home environment. Affolter credits her teachers and mentors with inspiring her to continue her education after high school and seek a fulfilling career.
Affolter revealed her pleasure upon hearing the news: “I am so honoured to have been selected as Godmother to Harmony of the Seas and hope that my story can help give a voice to all the hard-working teachers that give so much of themselves to make a meaningful difference. It’s most important for me to help kids understand that no matter what is going on in their lives, they can reach the dreams they have for themselves. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you have the support and encouragement of teachers who go above and beyond.”
Royal Caribbean have taken a slightly different route to the norm with their godmother selections for recent ships, rewarding hard work rather than celebrity status. In April 2015, Emma Wilby, a travel agent from Sunderland, was named Anthem of the Seas’ godmother.
Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, explained: “The Godmothers of our ships are remarkable individuals whose life lessons and achievements are rooted in courage, dedication and determination. Brittany exemplifies these qualities and so much more. We were exceptionally impressed by the passion she has for empowering our youth to believe in a better world and brighter future. She is wise beyond her years, and we can only imagine the accomplishments that she will continue to achieve.”
Coming up to her sixth-month anniversary, the Harmony of the Seas has been wowing cruise fans throughout Europe since May this year. Now set to journey to her permanent home in Miami, the ship will have chance to finally meet her new godmother.
Image and video courtesy of Royal Caribbean Press Center