ATLANTA – Selected high school graduates from schools in Grand Bahama have assembled in Atlanta, Georgia to conclude a year-long leadership development program.
Since September last year the students have been interacting with a wide spectrum of leaders on issues such as developing a vision, goal setting, time management, decision making, inter and intra personal skills, communication, career planning and development.
Students participate in three exposure tours developed by the Bahamas Institute For Youth Leadership Development (BIYLD), one on the island of Grand Bahama, one on the island of New Providence, and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The visits provide insight into the workings of the corporate world, as well as the educational, training and professional opportunities it offers.
The Atlanta trip is the culmination of the program and extends from July 18 to 25. Among the Atlanta-headquartered corporations to be visited by the high school graduates are CNN, Coca-Cola and Home Depot.
A number of universities will also be visited by the 15 participants this year, including Clarke University and The Georgia Institute of Technology. The students will also be exposed to some of the historic and cultural richness of Atlanta, including a visit to The Martin Luther King Jr. Center.
Former Bahamas finance minister Zhivargo Laing, who founded the program along with his wife Zsa Zsa, said previous visits have resulted in students determining their particular professional pursuits: “All students have gained an appreciation of how multifaceted the world is and how many opportunities exist in it for them.”
The Laings founded the program as a means to help young Bahamians transition from the world of high school to the world of adulthood with the skills necessary to prosper while functioning responsibly and productively.
The Laings, who in September 2012 converted the Marco City Youth Leadership Institute into BIYLD, noted that program’s success was largely due to the role played by a number of corporate sponsors who have contributed their support over the years.