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Young Bahamians Learn About Coral Reef Conservation


After months of field trips, school presentations, coral reef restoration, marine life surveys, shark education, and turtle tagging, Alexis Saunders and Krystynia Pyfrom are eagerly preparing for an exciting semester at The Island School in Cape Eleuthera. Alexis and Krystynia are recent high school graduates who completed a 4-month paid internship in December 2017, as the first part of their experience in the Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars (BESS) Programme 2017-18 cycle.

In March of 2018, they will join youth from around the world for the spring semester at The Island School; a unique sustainable living campus where students discover sustainable solutions to real-world problems using the environment on South Eleuthera as their classroom. They are trading places with Kenaro Malcolm and Jason Petty who completed The Island School Fall 2017 semester and are soon starting their internships with BREEF and BNT in New Providence.

“My experience at the Island School has been nothing but spectacular. My favorite part of the Island School is and always will be the community. Everyone is there to help you in your quest and they want nothing but the best for you.” Jason Petty.

“I embraced the experience and plunged into a whole semester of adventure, science and relationships. Research groups, shark diving, intense morning workouts and ocean expeditions are just a few particulars of the amazing things I’ve done at the Island School.” Kenaro Malcolm.

The BESS Programme is a one-year mentorship programme for graduating high school students in The Bahamas with a keen interest in the environment, eco-tourism and sustainable development.

Since 2008, forty-one young Bahamians have benefited from this exceptional educational experience, with most scholars going on to pursue related tertiary studies and/or are now employed in the field. Special thanks to all our partners, donors and sponsors whose support makes these opportunities possible.

BREEF is NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS from graduating high school students (15-18yrs) for the 2018-19 BESS Programme cycle.

Visit  www.islandschool.org/bess-1

or www.breef.org/youth-education/bess-programe

or call BREEF at 327-9000 for applications and information.

Application Deadline 15th February, 2018.


Meet Our Blogger - Alannah Vellacott

Alannah Vellacott is a Bahamian marine ecologist and has recently received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology at South Dakota State University. Alannah was a former Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholar (BES Scholar) through Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF). This awarded her a full scholarship to attend the Island School in Eleuthera and participate in a paid 6month internship at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Since that amazing experience, Alannah has made the rounds working and volunteering for non-profit environmental conservation organizations including the Cape Eleuthera Institute, BREEF, the Bahamas National Trust, Community Conch and The Nature Conservancy. A scuba diver with 14 years of experience, Alannah has participated in shark and reef health research and has also been a part of coral and conch research here in The Bahamas. In the summer of 2017 Alannah was the Summer Intern for the Perry Institute. Alannah is currently the Research Assistant for Perry Institute under the Reef Rescue Network. She will travel throughout the Bahamas conducting AGRRA coral reef surveys as well as establishing coral nurseries and outplanting corals grown in already established nurseries back onto the reef for the Reverse The Decline Project.