Happy to give back!.
Photos: Shantique Longley
By Shantique Longley
Giving back to the community has seemingly become a duty for Information Technology Entry Level major, Elijah Small. From a young age, Elijah understood the significance of lending a helping hand. He grew up on hard times and saw first-hand the impact caring for others can have. Now that he is older, he feels compelled to return the kind gestures he received.
The 18-year-old describes himself as a selfless person and his actions support that. Being the son of a pastor, the character trait was instilled in him from childhood. He also had other positive role models who fueled his desire to become altruistic.
Dean of Student Affairs, Racquel Bethel (l) and Student Counsellor, Pamela McCartney (r) present a Community Service Award to Information Technology student, Elijah Small.
“I grew up on hard times. My parents didn’t have it most of the time and I just want to relate to children out there to deter them from becoming juvenile delinquents,” said the sensitive Elijah.
He believes giving back to the community shows a sense of responsibility and described it as an endless life cycle until the Lord comes. He sees it as an excellent torch to carry from generation to generation.
In honour of students like Elijah, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) Student Affairs’ department recently hosted its Community Service Awards ceremony where over 25 students were to be honored for their selfish acts within the community.
Information Technology Mananagement student, D’Ante Fergsuson is presented with her award.
The 21-year-old believes in pouring into the lives of others. Simply being a listening ear for those in need gives her great satisfaction.
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Leroy Sumner(l) and Dean of Student Services, Racquel Bethel (r) present a Community Service Award to Cosmetology instructor, Monique Marshall.
“Thank you for taking time out to volunteer. When you give the gift of time to provide encouragement, you make someone’s day more bearable. You took the time to care. In return, you received friendship, appreciation and satisfaction,” said Ms. Bethel.
Ms. Bethel has long been convinced that giving is a part of learning. She and her team continue to push for activities that motivate BTVI’s students to become more community-minded. “At BTVI, we aim to build good citizens,” she stated.
Community enagement is one of the five strategic plan goals of BTVI and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Leroy Sumner, congratulated Ms. Bethel for bringing that goal to life.
“The fact that students have volunteered, through their own initiative, is incredible. The experiences you gain from such interaction, you will carry with you for life. Those who volunteer don’t just stand by and watch things happen; they make things happen,” said Mr. Sumner.
BTVI’s very own Student Affairs Clerk, Tamika Brown is presented with a special package for her participation and leadership in community service efforts.
Student Counselor, Pamela McCartney noted that there is much negativity in the headlines, so as a way of encouragement, the Student Affairs’ team wanted to pay homage to students who are performing positive acts.