The First Face of Thompson Island

Sean Warfield, Deckhand

For thousands of students and guests traveling to Thompson Island, the first person to greet them is Sean Warfield, deckhand on the MVOB, our ferry. What they see is a welcoming smile, and the offer of a steady hand to get on the boat. What they don’t know is that Sean himself was a Thompson Island student.

How did you first hear about the Island?
A couple of friends from high school were getting jobs on Thompson Island with Green Corps, now Green Ambassadors (GA).* So I started in 9th grade and worked during my high school summers.

Why did you want to come back and work for the Island after high school?
I had an enjoyable experience during my summers on the Island and wanted to keep doing that. I was excited to be working outside with hands-on projects. Green Ambassadors had helped me figure out that was the kind of work I wanted to do.

What were the most important things you learned about “the real world” as a GA and how have you put that advice to use?
I remember lots of professional seminars about interviewing and other life skills. Definitely pay attention to that – you’ll use those skills all the time when applying for jobs. But the most important thing I learned was how to work with different people. As I’m working on a project with my coworkers now, I’m using the skills Green Ambassadors gave me – the experience and practice of how to work with different kinds of people, whether it’s just being polite or using really good communication about a project. Those skills make the job easier. They make life easier too.

*In partnership with the National Park Service, Thompson Island offers Boston teens professional experience in the green job sector. It is a 7-week summer employment program and part of a three year curriculum to develop workforce readiness and career training.