A former high school coach is making the dreams of many Bahamians seeking tertiary education in Canada a reality through opportunities at his school, Noble Prepatory Academy (NPA).
What began as a high school athletic coach’s burning desire for the young people he was molding to achieve academic success in college and beyond, turned into a thriving Prepatory Academy with close ties to an accredited college in Welland, Canada.
Geno Bullard, president at NPA, has successfully assisted with educating hundreds of students locally at his school, but has also paved the way for the tertiary education of others internationally.
“Over the past six years, I have been able to transition over 98 students at Niagara College,” he said.
“Most of them have already received their degrees and are currently working in different places in Canada and are doing very well. Right now we are in the process of processing about 25 students who are preparing to make the transition for the 2015 semester.”
Mr. Bullard, who started NPA back in 2011, now has 56 students including males and females at his school.
NPA is a full high school equipped with a bonus grade 13 programme that allows a hands-on learning experience amongst a small number of students.
Mr. Bullard said his school is different because of the teaching methods and what he has to offer his graduating students.
“I can say that we are totally different from any other school because we deal with many aspects for our kids,” he said.
“We have a dynamic career counseling programme that is a part of our curriculum at the school because a lot of our students don’t know what they want to do post grade 12. In June, they are making hasty decisions because they are just trying to figure out which career path they want to take. But, I’m also the manager of the Caribbean for Niagara College so we have a great programme that allows us to transition our students from NPA to that college upon completion.”
Mr. Bullard said his drive to educate and motivate started when he realized that there was a huge need for a balance in students’ lives, particularly between academics, athletics and in their everyday practices.
“Well, from being a coach and being in the coaching world I realized that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that need to be fixed,” he said.
“For example, we have tremendous athletes, but their academic level doesn’t match their athletic availability so, so many students end up on the streets doing medial jobs because they don’t have a high school diploma. The issue was that so many kids were the best at what they did, but just didn’t graduate high school.”
Although his school has already been making major moves for students in his school, Mr. Bullard has also assisted students and adults with tertiary education throughout the community at large. He plans to continue his good work through NPA and his personal connections.