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Ocean City Special

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 5:21 pm.

Ocean City, Maryland is a popular Atlantic seaside town with a long and rich history of tourism that I was unaware of until my visit to this thriving shore town. For instance, I just learned that the first paying vacationers to Ocean City can be traced back to 1869!


This is a photo of me with Brooks Trimper of Trimper Rides, a family-owned amusement park in Ocean City that’s been entertaining beach-goers since 1893.

Today, Ocean City – or OC, as the locals and regular visitors often call it – witnesses a summer-time population boom of some 350,000 people! In addition to its popularity with beachgoers, the town is one of the most popular destinations for J-1 Visa Summer Work Travel students. After spending a few days here, I must attribute a great amount of this success to the efforts of the OC community committee that oversees the J-1 summer program for the city.


Ocean City was the first host community to create such a committee, which now falls under the purview of the Chamber of Commerce. This committee is made up of very dynamic volunteers, and is the glue that binds together the many and varied volunteer efforts all summer. They are also the community’s eyes and ears for the program, and their goal is to ensure all of their valued summer students have a top-notch experience.


Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan reinforced this message during a morning meeting I attended with a number of students from Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Jamaica. Meeting with Mayor Meehan and touring the city council is one of the many cultural programs the local committee puts on for their foreign students. Mayor Meehan opened our morning together by thanking the J-1 students for their contributions to the city, stating they are the key ingredient to Ocean City’s summer season success.  Meeting a mayor was not a typical occurrence for these students, and being personally thanked by Mayor Meehan was very special to them.

The town’s efforts to make the students feel valued are why these “kids” choose to come back year after year. In a very kind gesture, Mayor Meehan gave me a key to the city for my role in overseeing the Exchange Visitor Program. It’s not hard to see why our J-1 students feel special in Ocean City!



Categories: Employers, Participants, Who's the Person Behind

About Rebecca Pasini

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange

Rebecca Pasini

Rebecca A. Pasini joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges in July 2023. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister - Counselor, Ms. Pasini has been an American diplomat since 1997.

Ms. Pasini previously served as the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 2021-2023. Other Washington assignments have included positions in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Office of Foreign Missions, and as a liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. She has also completed multiple overseas tours, including as Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan, and as the Consular Chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Other tours included Mexico City and Kuwait.

A Maryland native, Ms. Pasini has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, a master’s degree in National Security and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, and an undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College.