'Awesome opportunity' for Bermudians in Danny Glover academy
An opportunity has arisen for young Bermudians to participate in a leadership academy funded by Hollywood actor Danny Glover.
The programme is run out of the Ivy League’s Princeton University in New Jersey for young men and women of colour from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
This year, there are opportunities for Bermudians to participate virtually from the island in two programmes - From the Fire: Leadership Academy for Young Men, and At The Well: Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
They are both scholar programmes targeted at grade 9 to 12 students that include challenging writing classes, small group discussions, leadership workshops and motivational presentations.
Participants in the past have had the opportunity to meet successful people including celebrities, politicians and entrepreneurs while professors oversee their work. They have also had the opportunity to meet Mr Glover who has been a commanding force in movies for more than 25 years, and the programme’s chairman, actor and director Delroy Lindo.
Actress Eden Duncan-Smith, who starred in See You Yesterday produced by Spike Lee, is one of the past speakers as is US congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
Marjorie Caines was instrumental in attracting Bermudian students to participate in the programmes in 2018 and 2019. She was part of a community outreach programme at CedarBridge Academy created by reading teacher and literacy coordinator Yolanda Ming in 2016.
Ms Caines created and implemented youth empowerment seminars with now Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards, Ms Ming and other youth advocates, and found the US-based programmes while researching opportunities for Bermuda’s youth.
She said: “I believe the young scholars who will participate will have a life-changing experience. They must be prepared to work and present their best self.
“We must have our young Bermudian children think globally not just about the possibilities in Bermuda. We must encourage them to be assertive in all presented opportunities when it comes to education, business, and networking. Our youth need to be exposed to these successful people and also hear stories of their humble or trivial beginning to their success.
“They also discuss legacy, whose shoulders they stand on, being an advocate in their community, competing globally, and managing finances which is key.”
The At the Well is a non-profit organisation established in 2009 by Jacqueline Glass-Campbell to promote the emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual health of women and girls, particularly those of colour.
According to its website: “Education undergirds the foundation of the programming with the ultimate goal of transformative behaviour that leads to better lifestyle choices.”
From the Fire is also a non-profit that was born out of At the Well that “enriches the lives of young male scholars from various socio-economic backgrounds. It empowers these scholars by educating them in leadership and life skills, setting them apart from others and thus starting them on their journey to success.”
Bermudian Sandra Vance sent her son Trey on the From the Fire programme in 2019 at the age of just 14.
“He had a wonderful time and when he came back I noticed an immediate change, he was a lot more mature,” she said.
“They were on a strict regime, they had to get up early in the morning and if they didn’t do certain things they had to get up earlier and exercise.
“It was eye opening for him and gave him an insight to what it would be like at university, they had to turn in assignments and meet deadlines. He did find it challenging being the youngest and not being used to such a strict regime in Bermuda. He got to meet a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures including Danny Glover and Delroy Lindo.
“He does want to go to university, he’s interested in doing engineering and so we are trying to figure out what branch of engineering. Having the opportunity associated with this programme on their resume is excellent.
“Not only did they do all sorts of work, they had adventures like shopping in New York and other cultural experiences.
“It is an awesome opportunity for any young Bermudian.”
The deadline for applications is May 15.