High School Students Tap Into Future Careers At BTVI
Shanando Moss always wanted to work with his hands. He is now well on his way to fulfilling that dream as a student of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) dual enrollment program where he is taking Trade Career Path classes.
“I want to be an Electrical Engineer, so I am learning more about what I want to do in life. Currently, we are learning about electricity. I am using this as an opportunity and I intend to come back in September for a year before hopefully going off to school,” said the Anatol Rodgers High School student.
“The class atmosphere is easy to learn in. The teacher, Mr. Barry, makes a difference,” he added.
The 16-year-old is one of 42 students from Anatol Rodgers High School, whose parents have agreed for them to be enrolled in the 15 week program.
The 25 girls are studying Introduction to Cosmetology which includes topics such as hair analysis, beauty culture science and communicable diseases, while in the Trade Career Path classes, the boys are introduced to the fundamentals of several construction trades including: Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Masonry, Carpentry, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Welding, and Painting and Decorating.
Trade Career Path instructor, David Barry, said the course helps the students identify the trade they are most interested in pursuing in life.
Mr. Barry spoke highly of the students, who spend the day at BTVI each Friday between 9 am and 3 pm.
“This is a good group. They are very quiet. There is something about Anatol Rodgers. They are mannerly. They get right into their work and clean up afterwards. When I arrived, they were in here working,” said Mr. Barry.
Meanwhile in the cosmetology lab, 16-year-old Antonique Sullivan admitted that she is still trying to figure out what is her passion. Yet, there is something intriguing about cosmetology.
“There is the possibility of me returning to BTVI to study Cosmetology. This is a great opportunity. Not much people get to experience this while in school. It’s interesting. I feel more responsible,” said Antonique, who has to balance BTVI and high school.
Her classmate, Miriam Peet concurs. On Fridays, Miriam misses Math, Bahama Host, French, English and Religious Studies. However, she ensures she gets any information and missed work.
“The majority of our teachers understands and gives us the work. For Bahama Host, we have extra classes. For others, we get what we will miss that Thursday or on that Monday when we return. I’m able to keep up, balancing the workload,” said the 17-year-old.
“I come, do the work, understand and go to high school and understand. It makes me feel accomplished,” said Miriam.
Cosmetology instructor, Monique A. Marshall, is pleased with the class’ performance thus far.
“The girls are understanding the work. They conduct themselves very well and are interactive. They want to know more,” said Ms. Marshall.
BTVI’s Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Leroy Sumner explained that the program is designed to give high schoolers a jumpstart on post-secondary education.
“The nature of the dual enrollment program eases them into college life, allowing them to immerse themselves and adjust to the work. It gives them a degree of independence,” said Mr. Sumner who made formal presentations to them and their parents at Anatol Rodgers.
“Even their parents are excited. And they won’t have to make application for enrollment again. If we get them early enough, more and more of them may want to come to BTVI to complete their education. Since starting, other schools have started calling – even in Andros and other Family Islands. It’s a wonderful program designed to develop a pathway to assist students in learning a trade and earning a living,” said Mr. Sumner.
By Hadassah Hall
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI)
Top: Anatol Rodgers Miriam Peet (l) and Antonique Sullivan (r) with BTVI instructor, Monique A. Marshall during an Introduction to Cosmetology class
Side: Anatol Rodgers student, Takeshi Bennie is focused on his work in the Trade Career Path class at BTVI.
Photos by Shantique Longley