First Cohort of YEC Programme Graduate
More than 30 Naturalist and Horticultural Apprentices in the much touted Youth Environmental Corps Programme graduated today in a commencement and awards ceremony held at the Retreat Garden, Village Road.
This first cohort of YEC graduates engaged in hundreds of hours of coursework and hands-on training to reach their milestone.
During his commencement address, the Hon. Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing encouraged the graduates to be prepared – for the unexpected; for when their desired outcome is not achieved and for winning once they commit to their life’s journey.
“Life is unpredictable,” he said, “Graduates you have to be prepared for the curveballs.”
He continued: “The Naturalists were eager to start the countdown to their 300 hours of specialised training and the Horticulturalists were anxious to begin their four week training and skills programme. But Hurricane Matthew hit and that was your curveball.”
Minister Dorsett said despite being initiated into the programme days before Hurricane Matthew slammed into New Providence, the YEC graduates stepped up to the plate and “as the saying goes you hit it [curveball] out of the park”.
He told the graduates to expect that their plans will not always work out the way they hope.
“If you always received your desired outcome then perhaps you would have less of an impetus to give your very best in all situations,” he said.
Minister Dorsett asked the graduates to contemplate on the hard work and determination they needed to reach graduation. “Graduates, you have to be prepared to win by committing to the journey,” he said.
He told the graduates that winning was not an absolute and that past performance was not a guarantee that the results will be the same again. Instead, he said “Being prepared to win means during the next course in your career path, your efforts may need to be doubled.”
Bahamas National Trust Science and Education Officers and First Aid Technicians at Doctors Hospital provided training for Naturalists. Topics covered included, Introduction to Marine Ecology; Bird Biology; Plant Biology; Climate Change and First Aid. Graduates in the Horticulturalist Programme engaged in courses that covered Introduction to Horticulture, Plant Identification, Propagation and Nutrition among many other topics, taught by Mrs. Yasmin Johnson, Coordinator and Mr. Mark Daniels, Parks Manager BNT.
The Youth Environmental Corps is a work programme created and funded by the government for young adults between the ages of 19 and 39 years to learn valuable skills in administration and trade jobs and environmentally friendly professions such marine management, plant identification, naturalists and park management.