RG Scholarships

Hit the High Seas

Burseries and Scholarships offered by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation
Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s mission is “to change lives, one voyage at a time, over time” and its programmes for middle school pupils are well known for doing just that. But, the organisation also has much to offer older students who are looking to further their education and skills after they leave school, in a non-traditional way, outside the confines of academia.

Cofounder Jay Kempe explained: “We are a little different, in the sense that we are trying to help those that are not considering applying for those types of scholarships. We are trying to help young men and women find their way. If it’s in the maritime world, that’s where we are perhaps best suited to help them, but it can be in anything. They can just learn technical skills, go off into air conditioning or whatever, so it’s kind of a broad thing.”

The financial options available could enable a young person to complete a diploma, gain water safety certification, or pay their way on an exciting voyage on the Spirit of Bermuda, the foundation’s purpose-built training vessel.

For those specifically interested in a career at sea, the Adam Goodwin Mariner Scholarship provides an annual $5,000 award.

Set up in memory of a former first officer on the Spirit, who died aged 22 in 2010, the scholarship is open to those with a love of the ocean, a desire to give back to the community and a plan for a career that combines the two. The deadline for applications is May 31.

Training and education officer Jamila Hanley said: “It’s all about financing the future of our students in maritime careers, whatever avenue that might be: engineering, captaining, first mate, crew, anything like that.

“It’s for tuition, living expenses, or travel expenses that are in conjunction with accumulating sea time, when mariners go on other boats and spend time at sea learning skills hands-on.”

Former recipients include Kristen Greene, now 2nd officer on a super yacht in the Mediterranean, Lamar Samuels, 2nd engineer on the Spirit of St George, Dkembe Outerbridge-Dill, lead seaman with Bermuda Marine and Ports, and Denzel Todd, captain of a ferry boat in the United Kingdom.

Another option for those who have been through the foundation’s middle school programme is to apply for a bursary based on financial need.

Ms Hanley said the organisation tries to track those youngsters who have already trained on Spirit so it can continue to help them as they get older. “We reach out to them and offer them these opportunities to come back on Spirit and learn more in-depth skills and, hopefully, it will start to pique an interest in them, to see where they want to go in the maritime field,” she said.

Beneficiaries don’t have to be intent on a maritime career; they just need to be looking to further their skills. “The bursaries are just for any developmental trajectories that any of our students might show interest in,” said Ms Hanley. “As long as they are committed to Spirit and they spent time on Spirit, we are willing and able to offer them these bursaries.”

Past voyages have included trips to the US, Canada, the Caribbean and the Azores.

Ms Hanley said the charity was acutely aware of the financial challenges faced by many young people and their families and how that could impact their ability to join a voyage. It gave about $10,000 in bursaries last year, divided between several recipients.

As well as offering the scholarship and bursaries, the foundation partners with the Government’s workforce development department, enabling young people to complete internationally-recognised water safety courses and other training. “They help to sponsor apprenticeships and career development for our crew, and anybody else who is interested in a professional career,” said Ms Hanley. “They’ve financed at least five of our employees to go through their certifications and training and future career development.”

Board member Martha Kirkland said the partnership provided young people with “actual career experience”, as well as the chance to gain globally-recognised skills.

Ms Hanley urged anyone interested in any of the schemes to get in touch. “We want to change as many lives as we can,” she said.

Visit bermudasloop.org for more information.

Write A Comment