Saturday, November 16, 2019

BTVI Holds Welcome Back Fair for Grand Bahama Campus Post Dorian

BTVI thanks Bahamas First General Insurance for sponsoring the breakfast for staff and faculty. Left to right: BTVI President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson; Bahamas First General Insurance Claims Officer/Office Administrator, Laurraine Dawkins; BTVI’s Associate Vice President of the Grand Bahama campus, Veronica Collie; BTVI’s Associate Vice President of Fund Development, Alicia Thompson and Freeport Insurance Agents and Brokers Limited President, Lawrence Palmer.

Although classes at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in Grand Bahama resumed on October 7th at St. George’s High School following the devastation of hurricane Dorian, the school recently held a welcome back event at its campus.

The all-day grill out for staff, faculty and students signified the reopening of the Peach Tree and Settler’s Way campus after much needed repairs were made. It was also a way to boost spirits after major losses.

Students received care packages and a variety of other donated items including baby supplies and groceries, thanks to Hope Fleet International, World Central Kitchen and Caravan of Hope located in the United States, in addition to Silvia 'Bibi' Borges of Florida National University, who has become a friend of BTVI.

Earlier that day, a breakfast sponsored by Bahamas First General Insurance, was held for staff and faculty at Mary Ann’s restaurant.

Present during the breakfast were Ms. Borges, Bahamas First General Insurance Claims Officer/Office Administrator, Laurraine Dawkins and Freeport Insurance Agents and Brokers Limited President, Lawrence Palmer.

Ms. Dawkins and Mr. Palmer shared advice regarding the importance of insurance especially in the event of natural disasters. Ms. Dawkins acknowledged the resilience of the people of Grand Bahama and how far they have come since the devastation they faced on September 1st. She also expressed the importance of training and why BTVI is needed to rebuild Grand Bahama.

“Bahamas First is big on training and education and it is important that we try to give back to the community wherever we can. We hope that welcoming the staff and faculty back in such a way will boost their spirits as quickly as possible because we want Grand Bahama to get back to where it was before Dorian. We need BTVI’s education to help with that,” said Ms. Dawkins.

Meanwhile, BTVI’s Associate Vice President of the Grand Bahama campus, Veronica Collie, expressed her gratitude to the Grand Bahama staff and the administration at BTVI New Providence.
“I am very grateful for the support you’ve given me. I think the fact that we all lost some things really brought us together,” said Ms. Collie.

“Persons like Bibi and Ms. Thompson are people the country really needs. I don’t think we would’ve gotten this far without your help and the help of the administration at BTVI Nassau,” she added.

Special thanks were given to Auto Mechanics instructor, Kenton Roker, who made sure the staff and faculty had food to eat every day during the repairs.

Many of the event’s attendees wore, ‘BTVI Strong’ t-shirts in a show of solidarity.


Students pose as they return to the campus following hurricane Dorian.


BTVI staff share in a hearty laugh.


BTVI shows gratitude to Silvia “Bibi” Borges who has been extremely supportive and generous to both its New Providence and Grand Bahama campuses.


BTVI students received donations as they were welcomed back to the Grand Bahama campus.


BTVI faculty Dr. Carla Armbrister and staff Nadinique Guillory and Kayla Hall show big smiles during breakfast at Mary Ann’s.


Many donations were received from Hope Fleet International. Connections were made through Pastor Lorenz McKenzie, who is the brother of BTVI instructor, Dr. Carla Armbrister.