Students serve up a treat for proud parents

  • Impact Mentoring Academy

  • Service with a smile: Jalila Smith is served by her son, Zakiah Smith, 13, during the Impact Mentoring Academy lunch yesterday afternoon at the former Berkeley Institute (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Service with a smile: Jalila Smith is served by her son, Zakiah Smith, 13, during the Impact Mentoring Academy lunch yesterday afternoon at the former Berkeley Institute (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Life lessons: students from the Impact Mentoring Academy received training from the Bermuda Hospitality Institute, and showed off what they had learnt during a special lunch for family, friends and visitors (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Life lessons: students from the Impact Mentoring Academy received training from the Bermuda Hospitality Institute, and showed off what they had learnt during a special lunch for family, friends and visitors (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Silver service: Deborah Outerbridge is served by Kani Stovell, 15 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Silver service: Deborah Outerbridge is served by Kani Stovell, 15 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Me and my boy: troy Brimmer with his son Kneiko Brimmer, 15 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Me and my boy: troy Brimmer with his son Kneiko Brimmer, 15 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Dressed to impress: Chrystal Cassidy with her son Micah Albuoy, 11 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Dressed to impress: Chrystal Cassidy with her son Micah Albuoy, 11 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • All smiles: Deborah Outerbridge with her nephew Jeorge Outerbridge, 11 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    All smiles: Deborah Outerbridge with her nephew Jeorge Outerbridge, 11 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Proud parents, guardians and mentors were treated to a special lunch at the Impact Hotel yesterday.

The students of the Impact Mentoring Academy, an all-boys private school, planned a formal lunch at the imagined hotel after completing training with the Bermuda Hospitality Institute.

The programme, Hospitality Skills Equals Life Skills, was introduced to schools by the Department of Education four years ago.

It is a way to give young people an introduction to the hospitality industry, according to executive director Malika Musson.

She explained that through table manners and etiquette, the students learn that whatever situation they present themselves in, they should always put forward their “best self”.

While the BHI provides the programme, the boys and teachers at IMA created the lunch independently. Impact Hotel was their own design.

“It’s a great idea,” said Ms Musson, a former Berkeley prefect who was surprised to find herself in her homeroom.

“I can see future servers working their way through college in this room,” she added.

She invited the students to apply for the BHI’s Start (Skills, Tasks and Results Training) programme, a 180-hour certificate programme with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Successful applicants will be given paid work for up to two summers.

After the lunch, Ms Musson told parents: “It has been a pleasure teaching your young men. You should be very proud of them.”

“They clean up well,” said Kay Paynter, whose two sons, Stephon, 15, and Kaelin, 12, were dressed in white shirts and black bow ties. “I absolutely love the school. They actually taught them some hospitality tools that they can use in life if they choose to go down that route.

They’re very hands-on with the boys — it’s not just about books; they make sure that the children are well rounded.

She said the school had proved a “great fit” after traditional teaching environments had let her first son down.

“He’s been able to explore different things and see what works best for him,” she said.

“The boys are now more independent, more self-aware of who they are and where they want to go in life.”

Stephon will take part in the school’s Spoken Word night in February.

“I read the first draft of his speech,” Ms Paynter said. “It brought me to tears. It was about the type of man that he wants to be. It wasn’t about the type of job you want to have when you become older, it was the type of person on the inside, and I thought that was beautiful.”

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Published Dec 16, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm)

Students serve up a treat for proud parents

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