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Sachem student wins shark camp scholarship

Jacob Karavias, a junior at Sachem High School

Jacob Karavias, a junior at Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma, was one of two students nationwide to receive the Greg Norman Shark Camp Scholarship through the O'Seas Conservation Foundation. Credit: Sachem Central School District

A Sachem student was one of two teens nationwide to win a scholarship to study sharks alongside a Montauk-based nonprofit organization.

Jacob Karavias, a junior at Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma, was a recipient of the O'Seas Conservation Foundation's Greg Norman Shark Camp Scholarship. The scholarship is named for professional golfer Greg Norman, whose nickname is "The Shark," and was provided by the Greg Norman Co.

As a winner, Karavias participated this summer in O'Seas' 2019 Shark Camp, a one-week experience for students in grades 8-12. It was taught by the foundation's founder and president, Craig O'Connell, a marine biologist who has appeared in more than 25 nature documentaries and on the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week."

Camp activities ranged from learning about GPS navigation to tagging blue sharks, the nonprofit said.

"The future of our oceans and our planet will soon be in the hands of our youth," O'Connell said. "Therefore, it is imperative that we educate, motivate and get them experience now, so they can be properly prepared to take on the future."

To get selected, Karavias submitted a one-page essay on his passion for the marine environment and shark conservation. About 100 essays were submitted.

"It was one of the best days of my life," Karavias, 16, said of winning. Of the camp experience, he said: "The animals we saw were mind-blowing."

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