2018 OCFC Scholarship Recipient


OCEAN CITY — It’s fitting that someone who’s been fishing since a kindergartener is the recipient of the Ocean City Fishing Club (OCFC) scholarship this year. Whether from a boat or the surf, Joelle Tucker, a 2018 Ocean City High School graduate, always has her fishing gear ready, hoping to reel in a tasty catch for dinner.

“I’ve been fishing since I was in kindergarten,” Joelle said, while visiting the club’s fishing pier recently. Her mother, Chasity (cq), confirmed, “Her fishing pole is right next to the front door. She’s ready to go anytime!”

Her angling has included fishing at Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, in addition to the surf and back bay in Margate, where she lives with her family. “I mostly get a lot of throwbacks,” she said, “and still hope to catch a big one for dinner.”

And if she doesn’t catch anything to cook at home, there’s always fish on the menu at Catch, a seafood restaurant in Longport, operated by her mother and father, Joseph, where Joelle helps seat guests for dinner. That job will end August 23, when she leaves for the University of Vermont, where she will major in biology. Her ultimate goal is to become a doctor. While keeping her options open regarding a medical specialty, Joelle already had some operating room experience in India. Under a program sponsored by the Congress of Future Physicians, she and about 60 other high school students traveled to Ahmedabad last summer, and had the opportunity to witness surgery.

“It was really exciting,” she said, enthusiastically. “I got to see two C-section deliveries and held a five-month-old baby. I also saw a doctor perform intestinal surgery.” That experience heightened her desire to enter the medical field, but it all began when she took biology as a high school freshman and then anatomy. “That’s when I was really hooked on becoming a doctor.”

Her choice of college major and goal to be a doctor fit perfectly with the OCFC scholarship program which awards $500 annually to a deserving graduate. OCFC has awarded a scholarship for the past 12 years to an Ocean City High School graduating senior who intends to continue his or her education in biology, environmental sciences, oceanography, or related fields.

Joelle was recommended for the scholarship by the faculty and administration at Ocean City High School. The award was presented to her by Margaret Feil, club secretary, at a scholarship ceremony earlier in June. Founded in 1913, OCFC is the oldest, continually operating fishing club in the country.

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CAPTION: Joelle Tucker, right, this year’s Ocean City Fishing Club scholarship recipient, enjoys the view from the club’s fishing pier with Margaret Feil, the club secretary.

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