Education

BTC Doris Johnson Continue to Award Excellence
"BTC & Doris Johnson Continue to Award Excellence"

May 11, 2017

Students for February & March Recognized...Each month, Doris Johnson Senior High School recognizes three students from each grade level...

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Bahamian medical students awarded CIBC FirstCaribbean scholarships

May 08, 2017

Bahamian medical students Yamir Smith and Emma Tuletta, who are studying psychology at the University of the West Indies, were among a cohort of 15 from around the Caribbean to benefit from this year's CIBC FirstCaribbean Scholarship.
Scholarships totaling $37,500 were awarded to outstanding undergraduate students from The Bahamas as well as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Corporate donors of the University of the West Indies were praised for their continued support of the university, especially in trying financial times, as Sir Paul Altman, chairman of the campus council at Cave Hill, said that access to funding was critical for the success of students.
In his address to the 14th annual students awards ceremony at the Cave Hill campus recently, Altman said the faithful donor partners had demonstrated an understanding of the importance of investing in the region's people.
CIBC First Caribbean was singled out as the largest donor and for its commitment to the campus. Since 2003, the bank has donated 15 one-year scholarships valued at $2,500 each across a number of disciplines.
Professor Eduine Barriteau, pro-vice chancellor and principal of Cave Hill, said the lifelines the scholarships offer enable many students to achieve their goals, which, in many cases, could not have been realized otherwise.
"It is the generosity of our benefactors that makes our annual student awards ceremony possible," said Barriteau.

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Recognizing the best and brightest in the primary schools

May 08, 2017

The country's best and brightest graduating sixth grade students will share $132,000 in scholarships and prizes worth $25,000, with the ultimate top student of the year walking away with a $6,500 scholarship and a laptop.
Talented students from around the country will be recognized for their scholastic and extracurricular achievements in the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards Program. Each school was allowed to nominate one student.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 27, at Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries, Carmichael Road. The program will start at 6 p.m.
The first runner-up will receive a $4,500 scholarship and a laptop, with second through fifth place winners each receiving a $3,000 scholarship and a laptop; sixth through eighth place finalists will take home $3,000 each; and ninth through 10th place finalists will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
Nominees were judged on their contributions to school life, academic achievement, extracurricular achievement, community involvement and overall presentation of their submitted portfolios. Academic achievement alone did not guarantee placement in the awards program.
Eleven students (11th through 21st place finalists) will each receive a $2,000 scholarship; with 18 finalists each receiving a $1,500 scholarship and 47 semifinalists each receiving a $1,000 scholarship.
The awards program was established in 1997. In that first year, 31 students, representing private and public schools on New Providence, were the first nominees.
Vashti Darling, who attended St. John's College, was selected the first primary school student of the year.
In the program's history, 12 New Providence students have claimed the top prize; four have come from Grand Bahama, and two each from Eleuthera and Abaco.
Since its inception, the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation has presented $1,095,250 in scholarship funding; $279,950 in prizes and recognized 2,080 students.
The program was introduced by Ricardo P. Deveaux, president of the Nassau, Bahamas Pan-Hellenic Council, and was designed to recognize the achievements of young achievers.
Deveaux was impressed with the prestigious Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program and felt the need to establish a national awards program in The Bahamas. Deveaux was one of seven finalists in the 1992 Florida College Student of the Year Awards Program.

Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Awards Program past winners
1997 -- Vashti Darling, St. John's College, New Providence;
1998 -- Andrea Moultrie, St. John's College, New Providence;
1999 -- Tiffany Moncur, Carmichael Primary School, New Providence;
2000 -- Sasha Bain, Walter Parker Primary School, Grand Bahama;
2001 -- Kenny Roberts, Spanish Wells All Age School, Eleuthera;
2002 -- Zachary Lyons, Queen's College, New Providence;
2003 - Tanielle Curtis, Sts. Francis & Joseph Catholic Primary, New Providence;
2004 -- Saul Salonga, Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School, Grand Bahama;
2005 -- Shirdat Jadoo, Maurice Moore Primary, Grand Bahama;
2006 -- George Zonicle, Bahamas Academy of SDA, New Providence;
2007 -- Taran Carey, Tarpum Bay Primary School, Eleuthera;
2008 -- James Boyce, Hope Town Primary School, Abaco;
2009 -- Khes Adderley, Temple Christian Schools, New Providence;
2010 -- Jared Fitzgerald, Xavier's Lower School, New Providence;
2011 -- Anna Albury, Hope Town Primary, Abaco;
2012 -- Nadja Simon, Genesis Academy, New Providence;
2013 -- Lauryn Rolle, St. Thomas More Catholic Primary, New Providence;
2014 -- Donovan Butler, Xavier's Lower School, New Providence;
2015 -- Samaiya Lundy, Sunland Baptist Academy, Grand Bahama;
2016 -- Lila Nottage, Lyford Cay International School, New Providence.

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Bahamian receives Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award

May 08, 2017

COLLEGEVILLE, MINNESOTA - Bahamian Owyn Ferguson was one of four Saint John's University (SJU) students to receive the Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award on Sunday, April 23.
Abbot John Klassen, OSB, of Saint John's Abbey, and SJU President Michael Hemesath, presented the award to the four recipients, who each received a monetary award of $2,500.
The Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service award was created by an anonymous donor to honor SJU students who excel in the community, reflect the university's Benedictine values and promote justice through the seven themes of Catholic social teaching. The students who are awarded show dedication to community service and engagement in student, civic and social leadership roles.
Ferguson, the son of Otis and Carolyn Ferguson, is a first-year economics major from New Providence. Since coming to SJU, Ferguson has worked as a student ambassador for institutional advancement. He plays the trombone in the College of Saint Benedict/SJU Wind Ensemble and serves as the first-year representative for the Saint John's Student Senate. In the 2017-18 school year, he will serve as a residential assistant and will chair the Student Affairs Board.
Prior to coming to SJU, he was "Gentleman of the Year" and best performing artist at St. Anne's School. Ferguson played in the Bahamas All-Star Band for three-and-a-half years.

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Entrepreneur and Fulbright Scholar to speak at BTVI graduation

May 08, 2017

Fulbright Scholar and entrepreneur Dr. James (Jim) E. Dever will address the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute's (BTVI) class of 2017 commencement exercises in New Providence and Grand Bahama. Dr. Dever's Bahamas visit will be sponsored by the United States Embassy.
Forty students will participate in the Grand Bahama ceremony on May 16 at Freeport Bible Church at 10 a.m.; 194 will graduate in New Providence at the ceremony to be held on May 19 at the Melia Nassau Beach Hotel & Resort at 10 a.m.
Dr. Dever is an associate in entrepreneurship at Florida State University (FSU). He has a wealth of practical entrepreneurial experience, having owned and operated many successful businesses during his 20-year entrepreneurial career. Those businesses included trucking companies, motels, restaurants and a construction company. He retired at the age of 41.
In July of 2009, he completed the requirements for his Ph.D. in entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. His thesis was entitled "An Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Entrepreneurial Failure on the Portfolio Entrepreneur". While a master's student at Florida State University, he wrote a research proposal concerning entrepreneurship in the former Soviet Union and outlined a course plan for teaching entrepreneurship in Central Asia. For this effort, he was named a prestigious Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Dever brings both a practical and academic approach to entrepreneurial learning, and, through his tutelage, students at FSU have built over 100 successful small companies.
Dr. Dever has a love and talent for instructing and aiding young people in their quests to become independent and open their own companies. This fits well with BTVI's mission, which is to provide learning opportunities that enable individuals to be globally competitive and economically independent.
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Dever as our graduation speaker, as his message is one that is expected to resonate with our graduates, particularly as they consider career options in an increasingly competitive job market," said BTVI President Dr. Robert W. Robertson.
This year's BTVI graduation is powered by ALIV. The company has established an Aliv Award of Excellence, which will be presented by ALIV Chief Executive Officer Damian Blackburn at both commencement exercises.

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Be grateful

May 08, 2017

Today's title is indeed a short one and yet it contains an extremely important lesson, 'Be Grateful'. Yes indeed, most of us don't appear to have any difficulty whatsoever in asking someone for something when we need it; however, the sad fact is, that not many of these people who ask for assistance remember to say 'Thank You' after they have received whatever it is that they needed at the time.
This, to me, is indeed sad, for it portrays to one and all, that you do not really appreciate what others do for you. Yes indeed, we all need to develop, as that well-known saying puts it, 'An Attitude of Gratitude' so that we let others know, who assist us in life with any aspect of it, that we are indeed thankful to them for what they did for us in our 'Hour of Need'.
Now our 'Attitude of Gratitude' should start at home. That's right, sometimes we're inclined to forget all that our parents, brothers and sisters, if we have them, do for us when we're real young, and of course, when we're not so young too. Parents so often worked tirelessly for us for years and years, and they also sacrificed so much just to feed, clothe and school us.
Yes indeed, if you feel that you got a good education as a result of your parents, or maybe another relative working real hard to pay your tuition fees; well then, please be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them and all that they did on your behalf.
Yes my friend, always remember to say 'Thank You' to all those who assist you as you travel along the road of life on your way to success city. And, if possible, endeavor to pay them back in some way for all that they went through to get you to where you are today. Yes indeed, when you cultivate an 'Attitude of Gratitude' you'll win big time.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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BTVI signs new agreement with New England Institute of Technology
BTVI signs new agreement with New England Institute of Technology

May 06, 2017

As it continues to seek access to higher education for qualified students, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), Rhode Island...

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"All Things Bright & Beautiful" BTC & Garvin Tynes Partner for Autism Awareness

May 04, 2017

Garvin Tynes Primary School held a special assembly last Friday to observe Autism Awareness Month. The assembly, under the theme “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” was attended by parents, students from the autism center at the school and the other students at Garvin Tynes.

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Entrepreneur and Fulbright Scholar to Speak at BTVI Graduation
Entrepreneur and Fulbright Scholar to Speak at BTVI Graduation

May 04, 2017

Fulbright Scholar and entrepreneur, James E. (Jim) Dever, will address the Class of 2017 of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) at commencement exercises to be held in New Providence and Grand Bahama...

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UB Plans to Seek Accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and School

May 01, 2017

President of The University of The Bahamas (UB) Dr. Rodney Smith announced that the University is seeking to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)...

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Sadie Curtis students bring pride to school's campus

April 30, 2017

Sadie Curtis Primary School students Allayne Green, Jayden Ferguson and A'ryanna Wilson have brought a sense of pride to their school's Nassau Village campus after snagging the school's first victory in the sixth year of the annual National Science Talk Competition.
Led by their coach, Lakia Brown, the fourth grade students dominated the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) competition that has been developed for fourth grade students, and is based on grades three and four revised primary science curriculum guidelines. The competition was held under the theme "Science is Everywhere".
The competition's objectives are to strengthen oral communication as students engage in activities involving the understanding of the nature and practice of science; enhance science literacy; and keep students engaged in learning and developing their potential to become 21st century stewards, innovators and citizens.
"They did a tremendous job, and won in a landslide. They were right on point, and knew practically everything that was asked of them," said Brown.
Students were given three strands of science to study -- life science, physical science and chemical science. Teams competed in their respective MoEST districts with the winners meeting to battle for the national title. Green, Ferguson and Wilson crushed the southeastern district to advance to the national competition where they dominated again.
At the nationals, students chose random questions and were given one minute to give as much accurate information on the topic as they could.
The life science questions dealt with plants and animals; the physical science section dealt with the earth, weather and the atmosphere; and the chemical science portion dealt with chemistry.
Garvin Tynes Primary School recorded a second place finish, with Albury Sayle Primary School third and Columbus Primary School fourth.
The two girls and boy on the Sadie Curtis squad began to prepare for the competition in October 2016. Brown said they practiced daily during their lunch period, after school and even on some Saturdays.
"They knew everything in the book, because they put in the time. Whenever everyone else was outside playing, they were there with their food wanting to practice and to prepare."
Brown said she had no doubts that the squad would go all the way.
"I knew from the district [competition] that they were going to nationals, because you kind of size up the competition and the kids were really prepared. I did not doubt them. I knew that they were going to come out victorious," she said.
The one thing Brown hoped her students learned from the experience was that, if they work hard, anything would be possible.
"There's nothing that they cannot achieve once they put God first and they work hard towards it," she said.
The teacher, who has a bachelor's degree in biology, said science competitions of this nature are important because they help to steer the children into the science arena.
"Sometimes we focus so much on high school with sciences, but this type of competition helps to steer children into that whole area of science because most of them you find want to become doctors. And to be honest with you, there are only a few schools in the government system that have a science specialist. So a school like Sadie Curtis, where they have a one-on-one science teacher, this kind of propels them and gets them more focused into the areas they want to study in the area of science in the future."
Along with bragging rights, the students each received a $200 gift certificate from Hodder Education to use toward purchasing an electronic device of their choosing. Brown received a Custom Computers certificate.
While this is Brown's first national title, she's no stranger to having her squads put in a good showing at the science competition. Before being transferred to Sadie Curtis for this academic year, she taught at Cleveland Eneas Primary School, where she coached squads to three district wins. The national title had always eluded her, with teams placing second and third.
But this first national title win, she said, is special to her.
"It really gives me hope to know that once the kids have the determination and support system, that they can do tremendous work. With the parents' help and my coaching and speaking into them, and encouraging them ... because sometimes they got discouraged ... I said we have to see the end before the result, so let's just keep the end in mind. Winning motivates me to continue for the future ... to push more students into this area of science," she added.
She also said the road to victory hasn't been easy, but the zeal and commitment of her students, and God's guidance, brought them through.
Brown also gave kudos to science officer Barbara Dorsett, who captured the vision of the competition and ran with it.
"It's inspiring many students around the country to want to be a part of it," said Brown.

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C.H. Reeves' top math students recognized by BTC

April 30, 2017

Over 100 C.H. Reeves students were recognized by BTC for their excellent performance results in mathematics, during a special mathematics assembly at the school with 20 recognized for outstanding performances in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examinations.
Indira Collie, BTC public relations manager, said they were proud of the students who have shown their limitless potential and demonstrated that hard work does pay off.
"We have been happily supporting this special mathematics assembly now for the last four years. We would like to thank the Principal, Mrs. Greta Brown, and the mathematics department for the fine work they continue to do to prepare tomorrow's leaders for the future," said Collie.
She said BTC is committed to youth and education, and it has shown that through its adoption of schools around the country. BTC has a scholarship program at the University of The Bahamas and is currently working with the university to erect an innovation lab and technology center.

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RBC executives empower young leaders

April 30, 2017

The possibilities open to people willing to commit time and effort to their careers are practically limitless, Nathaniel Beneby, RBC Northern Caribbean managing director, told students in the Bahamas Youth Leadership Development Program.
"You never know when the door to growth and development will open. Take advantage of the possibilities, and you will have greater career success," said Beneby, a 43-year banking industry veteran.
Beneby told 47 young leaders from the Bahamas Youth Leadership Development Program (BYLD), who came to New Providence from Grand Bahama to visit Royal Bank House, to use him as an example.
"I'm a local boy, and if I can do it, so can you," he said.
The visit gave students the chance to explore the history of financial services and potential careers related to it.
Renee Moore, senior manager of foreign exchange, trading and treasury, told students that financial services is an industry with many diverse opportunities.
Speaking to her specialized role in market trading, Moore said her strategy for building a successful career was to find something she loved and become an expert at it.
Kirkwood Pinder, RBC head of service delivery, who recently transitioned from managing branches to his current leadership role, emphasized his love for developing people. He told the students that it is vital for leaders to listen more than they speak.
"Listen to what folks are saying to you. Do not prepare your answer while they are talking -- really listen."
BYLD was established in Grand Bahama and provides leadership training for high school seniors in the community.

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Sir Orville passes on GGYA chairman baton

April 30, 2017

Tributes were paid to former Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Governor General's Youth Award, as he steps down as the organization's chairman of the board of trustees.
"I am honored to follow Sir Orville as he did great things while on the board," said incoming chairman John Bethell, Jr., in his first public address to the youth self-development program over the weekend.
Following the death of Robert Nihon in 2007, Sir Orville stepped in for what was supposed to be a short stint, while a suitable candidate could be identified. The temporary post lasted a decade.
"Sir Orville Turnquest has become synonymous with GGYA. He has been with us for many, many years. I call him the father of the GGYA," said Jack Thompson, chairman of GGYA's management council. "There comes a time when you have to pass the baton on. We are indebted to him for the years, for his guidance, his leadership and his vision."
Ironically, it was during Sir Orville's time serving as governor general in 1987 that the organization changed its name from the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to its present moniker. Thus, as the one who approved the change, Sir Orville was the award's first national patron.
During his term as chairman, GGYA grew to become one of the largest and most vibrant organizations in the Americas region. According to stats released in October 2016, by the Americas Awards, The Bahamas is second in the region in number of participants. Canada is first.
"This program was designed to promote in young people a spirit of self-worth, of enterprise and of commitment to the betterment of our community," said Sir Orville in his final written AGM address as chairman.
"It is therefore heartening to see young people who are susceptible to failing instead, excelling and choosing positive and productive paths."
Sir Orville noted that the organization's 30th anniversary poses a fitting time "to focus and remind ourselves of the key role" GGYA has played in the lives of youth across the nation.
It was a "privilege and honor" to serve as the patron and chairman of an organization "unmatched among youth groups worldwide," he wrote in his welcoming remarks in the Saturday, April 8, AGM booklet.
Sir Orville said he tendered his resignation "knowing that the program continues to excel, and that it is in excellent hands for the future."
Incoming chairman, Bethell espoused two main goals. He is principally concerned with growing the organization that had 1,937 participants and disbursed 553 awards in 2016. His second focus is to raise the funds necessary to sustain growth.
"I will do my very best along with my fellow trustees to continue to grow the GGYA and make it one of the best organizations in our country," said Bethell.
The award is comprised of three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold); each is progressively more challenging in time and demands.
It is comprised of four sections -- service, skills, physical recreation and adventurous journey (the hiking component). At the Gold level, a residential (community service) project is required to be executed while camping away from home.

Success and challenges
The annual general meeting affords the organization an opportunity to review its successes and challenges of the preceding year, while developing strategies and methods to further strengthen the award during the current year and beyond.
"In this tight austere time, when many have seen great cutbacks, the work of this organization has continued to move on," said Everette Mackey, treasurer of GGYA's management council. "All of our goals and targets may not have been met due to various challenges, but we continue to press on. We stayed in the black last year, and that was great."
He hopes this year is even better as the award pursues grants to assist in its further expansion into the northern Bahamas.
In 2016, the program was also successful in increasing diversity. An all-inclusive organization, GGYA welcomes disadvantaged youths, those from ethnic minority backgrounds and individuals with a physical or learning disability.
Last year the program saw a 55 percent increase in young people from immigrant communities, with that segment accounting for a total of 198 active participants. Meantime, 16 participants identified themselves as disabled, an increase of 19 percent.
Aided by 143 award leaders and 29 volunteers, 55 units were up and running in 2016. Outside of New Providence, the islands that continued to offer the award program were Grand Bahama, Exuma, Abaco, Eleuthera, Inagua, Andros, Bimini and the Berry Islands.
Last year, inroads were made to help reintroduce the award on Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador and Moore's Island.

Vital training
Critical to the award's success is training and developing its leaders and volunteers.
"Training enables volunteers to effectively deliver and support the award, thus facilitating the participation of more young people," according to Denise Mortimer, national executive director.
GGYA volunteers are encouraged to take advantage of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Learning Framework. Nearly 100 persons utilized the online learning hub last year.
Face-to-face training exercises, such as the one that followed the AGM meeting on Saturday, April 8, enhance the digital learning experience.
Nearly 30 volunteers from Grand Bahama, Inagua, Eleuthera, Exuma, Andros and Abaco participated in the American Heart Association Life Savers Course with CPR training and an Adventurous Journey Course that ran April 7-8 at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture conference room.

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Stop the BS -- it's reality time!

April 30, 2017

Now I believe that everyone understands fully what BS stands for without me spelling it out here today. It means I guess, that we need to stop trying to fool others and of course we need to stop trying to fool ourselves. As the title puts it, stop the BS -- it's reality time! Far too many people are in fact daily trying to kid others, that they're doing the right things, when in fact it's a complete scam.
Let me firstly point out one very important fact of life which is summed up in the following well known saying, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. No you can't, even though a whole lot of people try to day after day.
Here's something else that you need to be aware of. Although you may indeed be successful for a limited period of time in fooling others, one thing I can guarantee you, and it's this, you will never ever be able to fool yourself, no matter how hard you try -- and boy do some people try.
So today my friend is reality day. It's time for you to stop kidding yourself and others that you're serious about life, and finally get real. Yes indeed, today's the day for you to finally start to grow up and operate your life and affairs in a sensible, straightforward manner.
Yes indeed, today's the day for you to wise up to reality as you examine all facets of your life -- personal, professional, social, financial and of course most importantly spiritual. Then you need to decide where some changes are required both in your thinking and your behavior so that you finally start to live a life that will be truly outstanding in all facets.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Statement by The Ministry of Tourism on the cancellation of Fyre Festival

April 28, 2017

Statement by The Ministry of Tourism on the cancellation of Fyre Festival...

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The amazing journey continues

April 24, 2017

The amazing journey continues this summer for the 26 lucky public school students from New Providence, Grand Bahama and Long Island who were selected to participate in the StemForce Bahamas (SFB) program. This summer, the cohort will travel to the Pacific Northwest United States -- specifically to Oregon and Washington -- where they will take STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning outside the four walls of the classroom to spectacular geological settings.
The overall objective of the program is to help students reach their full academic and personal potential, and encourage them to study, go on to college and hopefully major in a STEM field, even though it's not a requirement, according to Paul Gucwa, SFB's sponsor.
This will be the third year for this joint program of the Bahamas Ministry of Education and the Jackson School of Geosciences of the University of Texas at Austin.
The 26 students were recruited into the program as they were completing eighth grade, and with the new school year they will be continuing on to year three in the SFB. The students are: Aaliyah Adderley, Carmetta Barry, Tametrya Brown, Ketora Clarke, Candice Colebrooke, Charles Darville, Matthew Darville, William Dillett, Vasudev Jagroo, Rachelle Joseph, Nova Knight, Jhaliyah Lewis, Andre Major, Kristan Major, Kail'lyn Malcolm, Salasha McBride, Ishmael McCartney, Conrad Newry, Rashon Neymour, Cheyanne Powell, Precious Rolle, Charity Sands, Garvinique Smith, Vashanti Storr, Waynesha Thompson and Kencha Toussaint.
Students had to have a B grade or higher grade point average (GPA) to be accepted into the program. They also had to have written an essay and be recommended by a teacher.
They will travel to Oregon and Washington State, from June 30 to July 8, where they will engage in activities that include visiting the Mt. St. Helens (Johnston Ridge) Observatory, taking in the Mt. Hood scenic view, Magic Mile, Big Obsidian Flow Hike, Crater Lake Rim stop, Salt Creek Falls, Oregon Dunes, Cape Perpetua Trail hike, Oregon Coast Aquarium and Glacial Erratic Stop. They will also attend a number of lectures that will include a review and final test, and surveys at the conclusion of the trip.
Last year, the students visited the Southwestern United States and Arizona, where they took in the marvels of such places as the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and the Meteor Crater Monument; they even enjoyed a rafting trip down the Colorado River.
In 2015, the group traveled to Austin, Texas after spending three days in New Providence looking at beach processes and visiting sites.
Through the program, Gucwa said the students are developing the drive, initiative and thought processes to go to college.
StemForce was started in Texas 12 years ago, and was brought to The Bahamas by Gucwa. The program was originally designed to recruit students who otherwise wouldn't have had such opportunities and provide them, particularly students who are interested in science, with the chance to develop interests and skills.
SFB is an offshoot of the GeoFORCE Texas Jackson School of Geoscience's summer outreach program, which recruits outstanding eighth through 12th grade students who excel in math and science at schools in disadvantaged areas in Southwest Texas and Houston. The students apply to the program and, once accepted, they are given the opportunity to travel across Texas and the U.S. to spectacular geologic settings. The field trips allow the students to meet inspiring people, gain an understanding of geology, and become more aware of possible career paths in or relating to the geosciences.
Gucwa, a graduate of the University of Texas, who is on the advisory board of the Jackson School, lived in The Bahamas for two years. His job involved visiting schools and he said he was impressed with the students he encountered at the schools. When he returned to Texas, he said, it was natural for him to bring the two together.
To date the program has received support from The Jackson School, the Ministry of Eduction, Focol-Grand Bahama, Roxanna Oil Company and an anonymous private donor.

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Lyford Cay International School plans expansion

April 24, 2017

In an effort to remain one of the most sought after educational options for students in junior pre-kindergarten (JPK) through 12th grade, Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) officials have charted a strategic plan for the way ahead. This will include expansion of the school's facilities, as the campus is currently at maximum enrollment with approximately 370 students.
Upon completion of the initial phase of construction of the new upper school campus, LCIS will be able to accommodate 225 students at the school, with a maximum of 300 students at the lower school (current campus), which will include nursery (18 months) to grade five, and the upper school will include grades six to 12.
LCIS is currently fundraising for phase one of the project that has an estimated cost of $30 million, according to O'Niel Bain, the school's communications and development assistant. He said the school is already one-third of the way toward its goal.
"Once we receive commitments for this total amount we will break ground. Thereafter, it will be an 18 to 24-month construction timeline to the opening of the new campus," said Bain.
"Moving forward, LCIS hopes to continue to inspire, challenge and transform its students, as well as positively impact the wider Bahamian community. LCIS prides itself on having a transformative impact on all students and will continue its commitment to diversity and access for Bahamian students. This school year, LCIS expanded its financial aid program to include named scholarships. These new scholarships are awarded to Bahamian students who display outstanding ability in academics, arts, technology, community service, languages, Junkanoo, sports and other unique areas."
According to the LCIS website, school fees for the 2016-17 academic year were $17,553 (JPK-kindergarten), $22,332 (grades one through five), $25,065 (grades six through 10) and $27,246 (grades 11 through 12).
An LCIS education has been made a reality for Bahamian students who would not normally be able to attend the institution through a financial aid program that has been ongoing for several years, according to Bain.
He said that aid distributed through the financial aid program is based on families' needs and can cover up to 100 percent of tuition.
An endowment of $1 million helps to support the scholarship program. Bain said the school intends to increase the amount by several million dollars over the next few years to ensure that the program continues to make an impact on the Bahamian community.
As LCIS moves forward, the school's communications and development assistant said that the stimulating educational environment that the institution provides will be further enhanced by the expansion of its academic and sporting facilities, most notably through the construction of the new secondary school campus just behind The Island House. Improvements have already begun on the current campus, including an expanded nursery facility, the building of a new kitchen and preparations for a new multi-purpose building.
LCIS' new 18 to 24 months program will begin in the fall of 2017. The nursery program will feature specialist teachers in Spanish, swimming and music, as well as small class sizes. Bain said the school is excited to bring the much-needed play-based program to the early learning market.
"Lyford Cay International School has experienced tremendous growth since its beginning as a small community school in 1962. Today, LCIS offers the full International Baccalaureate (IB) program and is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (CIS). Through its committed leadership and faculty teams, LCIS has exceeded worldwide norms across the complement of annual IB examinations. In 2016, 100 percent of our graduating class was accepted into their first-choice university, and many of them are now attending top schools in the United States, UK and Europe."

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Michael Wallace is junior minister of tourism 2017

April 24, 2017

St. Anne's School student Michael Wallace is the new junior minister of tourism 2017.
Wallace beat out 13 other students from around the country to win the highly competitive speech competition. He said the experience was invaluable.
As the United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, students spoke on the topic, "Bahamas Endangered: Promoting Sustainable Development".
"This has been a great experience so far, engaging in conversations with all the persons who have been here from the preliminaries, the semifinals and finally the finals," said Wallace. "To win this competition is a great honor. There's so much that I'm looking forward to as the new junior minister of tourism."
As junior minister of tourism, Wallace received the Patrick S. Bain scholarship, an all-expense paid four-day trip to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Youth Congress, $500 and a trophy. St. Anne's School will also receive $500 and a floating trophy.
Second place went to Tillia Leary, of Windermere High School in Eleuthera. Carlton Taylor, of Exuma's St. Andrew's Anglican School, was third.
The speech competition was the last phase of the junior minister competition. Leading up to the competition, students were required to go through a two-phase format that included a sourcing interview and speech preliminaries.
The Junior Minister of Tourism Program is open to one candidate per island, including New Providence. It is also open to 11th grade Bahamian citizens in both the government and private school sectors.
The 13 other finalists will serve as junior directors of tourism for their respective islands for the remainder of the school year.
Patrice Wallace, Michael's mother, believes he will exceed expectations.
"I'm looking for Michael to obtain his goals. I know he's going to do great things because he's a determined young man. He's focused and willing to go the extra mile. The expectation is for him to do his best and knowing that he puts his all into everything, I know he will achieve it," she said.
Michael succeeds Grand Bahama's Mary Star of the Sea School student Gabriele Josephs. Although he handed over his national title, Josephs will continue to serve as Caribbean junior minister 2017/2018.
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe praised the students for their contributions. He said events such as the junior minister competition are hosted for a reason.
"When you think about what people come to The Bahamas for, they come to interact, they want to understand what it is that makes us so special. We have festivals -- junior minister of tourism, Bahamian Ting Song Competition where we're looking for the number one song in the country, but we're doing it because we want to continuously go back to who we are as a people and celebrate that," said Wilchcombe.
He spoke highly of the outgoing junior minister of tourism.
"Our former junior minister of tourism ... many years from now you will see him, because he has all the potential, the capacity, and certainly the determination, to be an outstanding leader," said Wilchcombe.
In addition to the Ministry of Tourism, the competition was sponsored by the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, Micronet and Aliv.
The junior minister of tourism program was launched in 2002 to promote awareness of the country's number one industry among high school students.

Junior minister of tourism winners
2016 -- Gabriele Josephs, Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Academy (first place at Caribbean Tourism Organization);
2015 -- Owyn Ferguson, St. Anne's School (third place at CTO);
2014 -- Taliah Cooper, Preston H. Albury High School;
2013 -- Travis Robinson, C.R. Walker Senior School;
2012 -- Iant'a Stubbs, Anatol Rodgers High School;
2011 -- Boykin Smith, St. Anne's School;
2010 -- Winnae Hunt, Sunland Baptist Academy;
2009 -- Lincoln Deal Jr., St. John's College;
2008 -- Katanga A. Johnson, Kingsway Academy;
2007 -- Rashad Rolle, Doris Johnson (third place at CTO);
2005 -- Ryan Albury, St. John's College;
2004 -- Corain Smith, Jordan Prince William (second place at CTO);
2003 -- Shaundra Curtis, St. Anne's School;
2002 -- Stephanie Lawrence, Queen's College.

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NGM Major School students win Model United Nations Simulation

April 24, 2017

NGM Major School's India Wells and Chrysanthea Fox will travel to New York as members of the delegation of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to take part in a session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and to observe as The Bahamas gives its national statement to the General Assembly by virtue of their win in the Model United Nations Simulation (MUNS).
MUNS gives students the opportunity to assume the role of diplomat and address current global issues in line with the policies, ideals and cultures of the countries they represent.
Wells and Fox represented Canada, during the MUNS on March 31 at Holy Trinity Activity Centre.
At MUNS, students from a cross-section of public and private schools competed in a diplomat-for-the-day event sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas.
This year students debated the topic "Migration: Should Governments Consider Large Movements of Migrants a Human Rights Issue or a Security Threat?"
The session provides students with a better understanding of the inner workings of the United Nations and provides a forum to sharpen skills in diplomacy, critical thinking, compromise, negotiation, public speaking, writing and research. This year marks MUNS's 20th anniversary.
The students from the Long Island school bested Gabriele Josephs and Kyan Outten, from Grand Bahama's Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Academy. They represented the Dominican Republic.
Josephs and Outten were awarded laptops and printers by the Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas.
Third place went to Lucaya International School of Grand Bahama's Lauren Ritchie and Julia Tychoniewicz. They represented Haiti.
Ritchie and Tychoniewicz also won the Best Debater Award given by Chervez Brown, Toastmasters Club 1600 president.
The Crisis Moment Award/Minister's Cup went to Serenity Hanna and Celeisha Elebute, of St. Augustine's College. They represented the Republic of Germany.

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