The Honorable Hank Johnson joins the Young Men’s Leadership Program for a day

The Young Men’s Leadership Program with The Honorable Hank Johnson on The Island School campus. (From left to right: Stan Burnside, Shicardo Knowles, Ethan Forbes, Theondre Ferguson, Kiyano Butler, Alex Young, Nathan Cambridge, Tashon Hall, Demiko Pratt, Alvanno Winder, Clement Thompson Jr., Hon Hank Johnson)

The Young Men’s Leadership Program with The Honorable Hank Johnson on The Island School campus. (From left to right: Stan Burnside, Shicardo Knowles, Ethan Forbes, Theondre Ferguson, Kiyano Butler, Alex Young, Nathan Cambridge, Tashon Hall, Demiko Pratt, Alvanno Winder, Clement Thompson Jr., Hon Hank Johnson)

The Island School’s Young Men’s Leadership Program (YMLP) is an extracurricular mentorship program for eighth-grade boys from South Eleuthera designed to enrich their lives. There is an epidemic most cultures are facing with regards to young men. All over the world, they are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to get in trouble with the law. There are many causes for the plague facing our young men, thus the YMLP was developed to support young men in their different stages of youth development. While the program will tackle the problem from multiple angles, revolving around our core values: academic vitality, fearless leadership, personal resolve and global awareness. These values will be built upon throughout the program and during meeting times.

Currently, there are 9 boys from the 8th grade of Preston H. Albury in the program. The members meet twice a week on Tuesday afternoons and on Saturdays with program leader Stan Burnside. During the Tuesday meetings the focus is on supporting academics, with the boys helping each other with homework under Stan’s mentorship.

Saturday meetings are held on The Island School campus with a wide variety of topics covered. From working on conflict resolution to helping researchers perform surgery on crustaceans, the opportunities for the boys to learn in an experiential setting are limitless.

Last Saturday the Honorable Hank Johnson, Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera came to campus to join in YMLP activities.

The Young Men’s Leadership Program boys on a bike ride with Hon. Hank Johnson

The Young Men’s Leadership Program boys on a bike ride with Hon. Hank Johnson

Hon. Hank Johnson has been committed to the future and development of his community for years. To this end, he has taken a special interest in this program since its inception in December of 2017. During his visit, the Eleuthera native shared his life story with the boys. This tale of perseverance and eventual success really resonated with the boys. One of the boys remarking, “It doesn't matter where you come from, you can be anything in life if you work hard.” Following his inspiring speech M.P. Johnson pledged his support of the YMLP program saying, “You have my full support because a program like this will change their lives. It is long overdue!”

Showing that he is a man of action, following his powerful speech, M.P. Johnson then accompanied the boys on a bike ride, challenging the boys to a race upon his next visit.

 

Abaco Science Alliance Conference

Candice Brittain talking about the importance of parrotfish conservation in The Bahamas.

Candice Brittain talking about the importance of parrotfish conservation in The Bahamas.

Last week, Candice Brittain (Director of Outreach and Partnerships), Meagan Gary (CEI Scientist) and Eric Schneider (CEI Scientist) attended the 8 th Biennial Abaco Science Alliance Conference in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.  Hosted by Friends of the Environment, the conference attracted researchers, government officials, local stakeholders and a range of other conservation-minded participants from across The Bahamas and abroad.  The conference hosted great scientific presentations as well as important networking opportunities for collaborative work. Candice presented on the ongoing parrotfish project in partnership with ISER-Caribe.

The first year of the project focused on fisher and consumer perceptions of parrotfish with the goal of developing long-term education and management strategies in The Bahamas. This year a communication campaign will be launched sharing the important ecological role adult parrotfish play in the marine ecosystem as the most dominant algae grazers on the coral reefs, maintaining healthy habitat for other important animals like grouper and crawfish (spiny lobster).

Meagan Gary, CEI Scientist

Meagan Gary, CEI Scientist

Meagan spoke about the spatial variation in green sea turtle diet. This is a part of a larger study that is monitoring seasonal and spatial fluctuations in seagrass growth and distribution and its influence on green sea turtle diet. The inception of this project was due to social survey results showing that a large percentage of people living in Eleuthera believe that green sea turtles eat fish and conch. Understanding green sea turtle diet is integral as ecosystem management continues to develop in The Bahamas.

Eric Schneider, CEI Scientist

Eric Schneider, CEI Scientist

Eric presented the early findings of several projects looking into the sustainability of the emerging stone crab fishery in The Bahamas. As this new export fishery develops, it will be increasingly important to ensure the science and regulations behind it are adequate. The presentation lead to conversations with a local fisher/exporter and several fisheries officers and managers that all showed interest in the research and eagerness to support the work moving forward.

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