Annual college ‘road trip’ leads Bahamian youth to NC

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President Dan Patterson welcomes high school students from the Bahamas to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on April 5.

Niagara College welcomed approximately 40 prospective students and program administrators from the Bahamas on April 5 as a part of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP)’s annual college ‘road trip.’

They were welcomed with an overview of the College followed by a tour of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus and its learning enterprises.

It was 18 year-old Treyvon Seymour’s first time visiting the college and, as he makes his decision on where he will pursue postsecondary education, Seymour noted that Niagara College is a top contender.

“I love how at Niagara College you can create your career path with multiple programs,” said Seymour. “This college has a lot of programs in the field I want to go into and I love the environment here.”

Aligned with NC’s vision of preparing students to be world ready, YEP is an afterschool program that presents students with formal and vocational skills and training opportunities. To pursue their passion about learning more of the opportunities in Canada and its postsecondary institutions, the students held various fundraisers to pay for the trip such as hosting cookouts, sending sponsor letters, having carwashes, and more.

The YEP college road trip is used as a learning tool for its participants, empowering them during the trip with the responsibility of budgeting, time management and developing cultural awareness, to name a few. The experience is designed to help give participants confidence to pursue postsecondary education abroad.

“A lot of the students learn about colleges on paper or they see it online, but it brings a whole different perspective when they can actually come on the school campus and be able to touch, feel and interact with professors and students,” said Delano Munroe, Youth Empowerment Program president and CEO. “Now that they are here, it helps to lock in their commitment on coming to the school.”

Most YEP youth attending the tour were in high school; however, Dakarai Joseph, a seven-year-old ‘junior YEPer’ also participated in the trip and was excited to look at the goldfish in the NC Greenhouse as he was introduced to aquaponics.

Jordan Wilson, who is originally from Nassau, Bahamas, and currently in his second year of studies in the Business – Sales and Marketing program – known for his leadership on and off the court at NC as varsity men’s basketball team captain – met with the Youth Empowerment Program during their visit to NC and posed for pictures with youth from his home country.

Wilson said he feels Canada was the right choice for him and recommends studying in the country to his own family and friends.

“It’s all about the people,” said Wilson when asked about his time here. “The professors make Niagara College special; they give more than what’s asked of them and are always going above and beyond. The professors take time out of their day to help you because they truly want to see you succeed.”

Niagara College is the first choice in Ontario for students from the Bahamas, and currently has more than 100 Bahamian students enrolled. The College continues to engage the Bahamas in new ways as part of NC’s international student recruitment diversification strategy.

NC is hosting a series of international delegations during the month of April. In addition to welcoming delegates from the Bahamas, NC hosted a group from Aruba on April 2 and looks forward to hosting prospective students from the Dominican Republic on April 10.

-Submitted by NC International

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