Typically, the honor of being named the Godmother of a cruise ship is reserved for celebrities and royalty, but when selecting a Godmother for Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean flipped the script. After a six-week search—where fans could submit their own nominations and vote for their favorite—Brittany Affolter, from Teach For America Miami-Dade, was selected by the public and the cruise line for her life-changing work in education.
Brittany pursued her career as a way to inspire children in the same way she had been during her early years. She’s worked with Teach For America Miami-Dade since 2014 in Title 1 schools across the county, and trains teachers at 14 high-needs schools in Miami-Dade that serve more than 500 students. In her spare time, she tutors, is working to become a mentor for children in foster care, and is completing her masters degree in educational leadership.
“I work with teachers across Miami-Dade to develop their knowledge, skills and mindsets in education,” Brittany said. “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.”
The 23-year-old was recognized for her work in inspiring South Florida’s next generation to dream big, think differently and challenge the status quo at an exclusive naming ceremony on board Harmony of the Seas, which just arrived in the U.S. to much fanfare. With more than 800 guests in attendance, Brittany blessed the ship and all those who sail on her by breaking a bottle of champagne on board—a longtime maritime tradition. A fireworks show and performance by singer-songwriter and Miami native Jon Secada closed out the celebration.
Catch a glimpse of the ceremony’s highlights below: