Category Archives: Apprentice Programme

The Young Men’s Leadership Retreat: A Year-Long Pioneering Program a Year in the Making

This July, we welcomed a group of 15 young men (aged 10-18) to become future leaders and change makers. This 8 day program, lead by Chris Maxey (Island School Founder), Will Simmons (Space 2 Create Founder), Stan Burnside (Outreach Coordinator) and Nigel Sands (Educational Programs Apprentice), was designed to challenge all participants mentally, physically and emotionally. The aim of the program is to help build the future leaders of our immediate community. Early on the first morning of the program, the students set foot on the Base Camp, a place that would be their home for the next week. During the 3 months prior to this arrival, each participant was involved in the construction of this ground breaking new space, learning valuable skills and earning a small stipend in the process. The young men felt ownership over the space they helped to build even before they arrived. Through S.C.U.B.A., snorkeling and free diving they learned to explore the amazing world that has felt foreign even though it has been in their backyards all their lives. Through the next week, the young men would face run swims, water polo, survival skills and stingray research all while supporting and encouraging each other and learning the values of brotherhood in the process. What may have been most challenging for the young men was the emotional and social issues addressed during the course of the week. Amid all of the physical challenges, time was designated to address vital issues such as: drug abuse, healthy relationships, goal setting and violence. 

Morning exercise is one of the most important routines of the program
Morning exercise is one of the most important routines of the program

While this program was only 8 days long, it is the culmination of over a year of hard work and dedication. The idea that spurred this initiative for change was the blatant over-representation of young men in the areas of unemployment and academic under-achievement. The need was obvious but the solution was less clear. Getting the young men to our campus was a simple solution but would most likely not have had the lasting positive impact that is crucial for real change. To foster this change, the program is designed to kick off a year-long mentorship program for each participant. During the year to come, the participants are going to be mentored by various members of our organization. The members of the Center for Sustainable Development have been pivotal in the initial success of this endeavor, lending not only their expertise but also their guidance and advice to each of these young men. This continued relationship is what is going to make the lasting change.

The woodshop is part of the Center for Sustainable Development, which is one of the locations on campus where participants are mentored.
The woodshop is part of the Center for Sustainable Development, which is one of the locations on campus where participants are mentored.

The 8 day program was just the first step towards a brighter future. There is a long road ahead but we are committed to making a difference.

Stan Burnside and Will Simmons at camp on the Island School's campus
Stan Burnside and Will Simmons at camp on the Island School’s campus

Local Students partner with Island School kitchen staff

The kitchen staff at the Island School recently hosted two classes of high school students from Preston H Albury High School.  During their time here, the students worked with Sophia and her team to prepare and serve lunch to our staff and visitors. The visits were in coordination with an elective consumer science course at the local high school.

The 10th and 11th grade students were on campus for a half day to help prepare and serve lunch, and to prep breakfast for the following day. They worked in small teams to tackle different parts of the meals such as the salad bar, hot dishes, sandwich ingredients, and creating condiments from scratch.

Preston H Albury High School is located in Rock Sound and is the only high school in the southern part of the island of Eleuthera. Students in the consumer science course focus on topics such as family economics and relations, nutrition, and culinary arts. Ms. Tamika Rahming teaches the course. Sophia Louis, our very own Kitchen Manager, says the partnership between Island School and Preston H is in the works and they are hoping to get a more regular schedule implemented for high school students.

Thanks to our kitchen staff for bringing the classroom into the kitchen!

Introducing Summer 2014 Bahamian Apprentices

Every summer, The Cape Eleuthera Island School welcomes a number of talented and driven young Bahamians to campus, offering them an opportunity to work closely with The Island School and the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s staff and researchers through our Summer Apprenticeship Program. Meet this summer’s apprentices:

20140623_084432Hi, my name is LeDante Johnson, a community member of Tarpum Bay. It is with great honor that I accept the task as administrative apprentice and join the team here at The Island School. I’m 16 years old and for most of my life I’ve been interested in medicine and the amazing work that doctors do, that’s why my biggest dream is to become an Anesthesiologist. Working here will help me as well as the other apprentices to gain experience in the workforce so that we will be better equipped to face life’s challenges on our own. Before I came here as an apprentice I had already had many experiences at The Island School because of my attendance at the Deep Creek Middle School. I can assure all of the members here that I will always put my best foot forward and perform that tasks that are given to me to the absolute best of my ability. Thank you guys so much for this awesome experience!


20140623_084408My name is Michael Coleby, I am sixteen years of age and I live in Wemyss Bight on the island of Eleuthera. I have lived here for four, going on five years. My mother’s name is Shantaire McKinney. She is a part of the accounts team here at the Island School. I am the oldest of three children. When I relocated to Eleuthera, I was awarded the exciting opportunity to attend DCMS. The experience at the middle school was wonderful and I made some great memories there. I attended DCMS for two and a half years before moving forward to Preston H. Albury High School. My hobbies include playing sports, especially Basketball and Tennis, I also love playing video games. This is just a brief biography of me I encouraged everyone to chat with me and get to know me better. Also I must say thank you so much for choosing me as your new facilities apprentice.


20140623_084419 (1)Hello, my name is Jermaine Sands. I am a 6 feet tall 19 year old guy who’s smart, outspoken, determined and loves to laugh. I presently attend the College of The Bahamas where I’m studying to obtain an associates degree in mechanical engineering. In my spare time I love playing basketball, running, fishing and listening to music. As a little boy growing up I would go out to the airport with my grandmother and watch the airplanes as they landed and took off. It was then that I knew that was what I wanted to do, fly airplanes and become a well renowned pilot. So until then I’ll keep striving for excellence.


20140623_084354 (1)My name is Kendeisha Beatrice Forbes. I am seventeen years of age and I’m going into the twelfth grade this fall. My passion is cooking and I absolutely enjoy working in the kitchen! I recently did a culinary training course at Lincoln College in West Palm, Florida where I learned  many cooking skills and techniques. I also won first winner up in the Young Chef competition here in Eleuthera. I love to create new and exciting recipes, I recently made a Sapodilla Cheesecake that honestly, tasted heavenly. It has now become one of my signature dishes. When I graduate from high school, I would love the opportunity to go to culinary school and become an executive chef! Not only do I enjoy cooking but I also enjoy eating great food, dining at fine restaurants and meeting new people. 


Summer Apprentice Blog: Whitney Knowles

Whitney Knowles joins Cape Eleuthera Institute as the Small Island Sustainability Aquaculture apprentice from the College of the Bahamas and the UBS scholarship award recipient.  Though she resides in Nassau she considers Eleuthera home,  as she grew up in North Eleuthera and attended Bluff All Age primary school.  Whitney was on the JUMPSTART Programme at Anatol Rodgers High School,  an academic program designed to challenge highly motivated high school students to obtain college credit and to explore career interests before entering college. It was during this time that she became increasingly interested in the study of sea life and first heard of The Island School. After viewing an inside feature on the Island School on channel 13 – BLC, she learned of its alternative food production systems through their aquaculture and aquaponics programs and from there became inspired to go into conservation and marine biology.

She joins the aquaculture research team at CEI until August 17th and is excited about Continue reading

Apprentice Profile: Serrano Gibson

Serrano Gibson of Wemyss Bight joins us at on campus as part of the  apprentice programme this summer, working under Marco. Below are some of his thoughts on working here:

As a summer employee at The Island School, I am working with an intelligent hard working young man name Marco. I’m helping him with making bio-diesel fuel out of used cooking oil, which is used in vehicles instead of diesel purchased at a service station. I am also cleaning the diesel tanks so that the new fuel can be clean and just right. The bio-diesel is inexpensive, reliable and eco friendly to our environment.

We are also on the road a vast amount of time making stops at different restaurants on the island picking up bottles of cooking oil that the restaurants no longer need to make the bio diesel and replacing the empty bottles with new ones to refill. It’s a long days work. We sometime end up in Harbor Island. This is a great experience for me.

Bahamian Apprentice Programme Expands at Cape Eleuthera Island School


On the tip of Eleuthera, the Cape Eleuthera Island School is continuing to expand its Bahamian Apprentice programme. This summer, six Bahamians are joining teachers, researchers, mechanics and farmers to learn the tools of the trades. The hope is that they will take their skills and learning back to their home settlements and communities. Participants in this year’s programme are Nicoya Taylor of Deep Creek, Serrano Gibson of Wemyss Bight, Ted Hall of Rock Sound, Troy Williams, Stanchez Ferguson of Waterford, and Perry Ford of Wemyss Bight. The apprenticeships will run through the 19th of August.

This year the program has expanded to include biodiesel manufacturing, auto and boat mechanic work, permaculture (farming), educational programmes, culinary arts, and facilities maintenance. There are also research opportunities available to college students and recent college graduates offered through Cape Eleuthera Institute. Cristal Munroe, of Nassau and graduate of the University of New Brunswick, and Tika Penn, also of Nassau and currently studying Small Island Sustainability at the College of The Bahamas are the first of what stands to be a long line of scholars to go through the program.

Continuing to expand the program will be made possible, in large part, because of the generous support through donations and sponsorships made by local people and businesses. “What will allow this programme to continue reaching more young people is community support,” said Kalin Griffin, human resources director.

The aim of the programme is to teach students skills they can use in the real world, skills that supplement what they are learning in school. “They are learning to solve real world issues in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable development, environmental conservation, and food security. The transferrable skills and knowledge that they gain through this apprenticeship is incredible. I hope that more young persons will apply for these apprenticeships,” added Griffin. The Cape Eleuthera Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute provide an ideal setting for a wide variety of apprenticeship opportunities because of the facilities and type of work that goes on there.

To learn more about the apprenticeship programme, or what you can do to support it, please contact the Cape Eleuthera Island School at 242.334.8551, or visit their website at

Bahamian Apprentice Spotlight: Perry Forbes

Perry Forbes is from Wemyss Bight and is a student at St. John’s University in Minnesota. His major is environmental management, and he is back at CEI this year to participate in the Apprentice Programme. He shares his thoughts on working at the Cape Eleuthera Island School below:

My name is Perry Forbes and I am currently in the summer apprenticeship at the Island School. I am working in the boat house under Jessie Pearce who runs the boat house. In the three short weeks of working with him I have learned how to perform basic of maintenance on boats, how to inspect and repair SCUBA equipment, as well as how to drive boats the correctly.

In addition to working in the boat house I also work with the educational programmes at the school. When working in this department I would usually give tours to parents and their children, supervise and be an active part of summer camps, as well as informing children about their environmental responsibilities.

Welcoming Nicoya!

Nikoya Taylor working in the kitchen

Nicoya Taylor, who is currently at Episcopal High School in VA and is a DCMS alum,  joins The Island School community as an apprentice, working to help ‘The Ladies’ in the kitchen. She shares her initial impressions below:

My first week working in the kitchen has definitely been a great experience. I’ve learned to appreciate so much by working with Sheryl, Tiffany, Mrs. Becca, and Ms. Mooch, such as the hard work the kitchen staff at my school put in during a regular school week. Although it may seem easy making dinner for an enormous number of staff and students everyday, isn’t as easy as many may think. I’ve learned so much from each of these intelligent ladies and I hope that this experience continues to be amazing throughout the remaining seven weeks.