Categorized | National News

Bahamian Students Invigorated By US Visit

Students of an innovative leadership programme in The Bahamas were invigorated by their exposure to a more global landscape in Atlanta.

According to Zhivargo Laing of the Bahamas Institute for Youth Leadership Development (BIYLD), students came to appreciate just how diverse career opportunities are when one’s vision is global.

The BIYLD offers a 10-month leadership course for Bahamian high school students.

Mr. Laing, who with his wife Zsa Zsa set up the programme, said the visit to Atlanta was transforming for the graduating high schoolers.

“Coming to Atlanta and visiting companies with massive global reach like CNN and Coca-Cola, and talking to their managers, widened options for our students by helping them realize these career opportunities are real,” he said.

On the educational side, he noted a new found respect among his students for the distinguished colleges and universities in the region.

“The students developed a great appreciation for the scholarship and professional development opportunities that Historically Black Colleges (HBC) and Universities like Clark-Atlanta University offer,” Mr. Laing said.

Taking advantage of the Atlanta trip, Mr. Laing sprinted into action trying to place one of the students.

“We are looking into the prospect of having one of the young ladies who is a track athlete from an underprivileged environment secure a scholarship through contacts made at Clark-Atlanta University, he said.”

While exploring higher educational opportunities for his students, Mr. Laing himself learned something – that a number of Bahamians are heading university programs in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, especially in the athletic arena.

The students were also introduced to the diplomatic world and how it connects with international trade and business through visits to offices such as the Bahamas Consulate General in Atlanta.

They also visited Rev. Creflo Dollar’s World Changers Church International.

However, according to Mr. Laing, the highlight of the trip for the students was the homage to iconic human rights champion, Dr. Martin Luther King.

“…Every young person came to appreciate more fully the global impact of Dr. King’s efforts in the civil rights struggle. The up close and personal interaction with his legacy at his church, at his home and at his center moved them to a deep sense of responsibility to do their part to improve the state of our human family,” he said.

Students participated in three exposure tours developed by BIYLD, one on Grand Bahama, another on New Providence, and the last in Atlanta, Georgia.

The visits provided insight into the workings of the corporate world, as well as the educational, training and professional opportunities it offers. The Atlanta trip was the culmination of the programme.

The Laings converted the Marco City Youth Leadership Institute into BIYLD back in 2012.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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