Monday, June 29, 2015

BTVI Graduates Told to be Purpose Driven

Director of Youth, K. Darron Turnquest gave a riveting address as commencement speaker, encouraging students to demonstrate the skills they learned with excellence. 

The 240 graduates of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution (BTVI) were encouraged during their recent commencement exercise to not work out someone else’s purpose for their lives, but to be purpose driven in their own pursuits.

The advice came from the graduation speaker, Director of Youth, K. Darron Turnquest who used the opportunity to paint a portrait against a landscape that life will present its challenges.  However, he noted that those same forces come to make one stronger.

“Before progression comes process, and process is sometimes slow, but it’s not when you arrive, but the fact that you arrive,” said the electrifying speaker.

Make your journey your business.  It shouldn’t be someone else’s passion.  When individuals interfere, say, ‘Hashtag: Mind your own business,’” stated Mr. Turnquest to the roar of the audience.

Mr. Turnquest used the opportunity to caution the Class of 2015 that as they drive to their destinations in the vehicle of life, there are some important decisions they must make, including letting out some people they allow to ride in their passenger seats. He essentially advised them to be careful of whom they associate with as they search for success.

The students were told matter-of-factly that their certificates, diplomas and degrees are commendable, but they ought to be life-long learners who must be able to demonstrate their skills in the workplace and exude an attitude of excellence.

BTVI graduated 240 students during its New Providence graduation exercise on June 25th

These sentiments were echoed by BTVI’s Board Chairman, Felix Stubbs who urged them to not become complacent.  “Do not consider your certificate, diploma or degree the be all and end all.  And certainly, do not leave here with the hopes of simply getting a job. We want you to seriously consider careers. We want you to become vested in the skills you have,” said Mr. Stubbs.

Furthermore, Mr. Stubbs noted the importance of technical education, referring to United States President, Barack Obama’s signing of an Executive Order on June 24th, which expanded the US Presidential Scholars program to establish a new category of outstanding scholars in career and technical education.

“Even the US government is sending a clear message that technical education programs play an essential role in the preparation of students for the workforce.  And our very own government is no different.  The programs we offer at BTVI are a reflection of labour force needs. We are meeting your technical and vocational needs at BTVI,” said Mr. Stubbs.

BTVI’s Acting President, Dr. Iva Dahl warmly greets a member of the Class of 2015.

Additionally, student speaker, Valentino Burrows spoke of the opportunities he received at BTVI. Based on BTVI’s articulation agreements with several Canadian colleges, the electrical installation student and a few others were afforded Emerging Leaders in Americas Program (ELAP) scholarships.  Valentino was chosen to attend Holland College for two semesters.  While at Holland, Valentino learned to build solar air collectors. He also learned about program variable frequency drives to control 3 phase motors and how to write a business plan, while studying improvisational acting and even getting to play some football.  His ultimate goal is to combine electrical installation with his love of film and the arts.

Meanwhile, Valentino spoke candidly about finding himself “floating through life” before attending BTVI.  “From the first time I walked through the campus as a student, I knew my life would never be the same again…our teachers pushed us to succeed, both in theoretical and technical assessment…every staff member I have encountered at BTVI did not care only about knowledge, but the actual person they were influencing,” he stated.

Valentino then sent out a final request to his classmates, “I believe we all can agree that we have been shaped by our experiences within BTVI’s halls.  I ask that as we go along our different roads in life that we never forget our roots at BTVI.”

BTVI’s Chairman of the Board, Felix Stubbs presenting a student with her diploma cover.  

Two BTVI students wait in line for their names to be called during the recent commencement exercise. 

By Hadassah Hall
Public Relations Officer
The Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute (BTVI)
Nassau, Bahamas
Direct line: (242) 502-6376
Switchboard: (242) 502-6300
Twitter: BTVI242

BTVI's mission: To provide learning opportunities that enable individuals to be globally competitive and economically independent.