Offering four dynamic young leaders a platform to speak, the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise invited four local high school students to its weekly meeting this past Wednesday, to share with those in attendance their future aspirations as well as their various intriguing journeys throughout life thus far.
Gabrielle Edwards, Gabriel Josephs, Zaria Knowles and Franco Miller Jr. students of Bishop Michael Eldon School, Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy, Lucaya International School and Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy respectively, all had the opportunity to share with the Rotarians their individual high school experiences.
Edwards, a 12th grader said, “Some people are born knowing what they inspire to be in life; for me it was a bit of a challenge, discovering my passion and subsequently transforming it to a future.
“My future aspirations are varied, from performing on Broadway, teaching, being a lawyer, or even an athlete, although I can play no sports. It was whatever the new career choice was that I wanted to be in; this finally changed when the seed was planted and cultivated by The Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement Summer Camp in the eighth and ninth grades, where I experienced the ins-and-outs of a biomedical engineer,” said Edwards.
“Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts through medicine, add biology, for health care purposes; example diagnostic or therapeutic.
“During those two years in the biomedical engineering stream, I have built a model prosthetic arm, heart rate monitor and other devices. The president and co-founder of that summer camp, Trenicka Rolle, then went on to launch the first junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in The Bahamas; a program in which I am an active participant.
“Being female is not a disability, but an honored privilege; girl power! To prepare for my future in biomedical engineering, I am mentored by the one, who introduced me to the field Ms. Rolle. As my mentor, she guides and advises me on the way to go, but also challenges me to break the status quo. I endeavor to pursue an undergraduate degree of biomedical engineering in the fall.”
Josephs, who proudly held the Grand Bahama Junior Minister of Tourism as of Wednesday, still holds The Bahamas Junior Minister of Tourism and the Junior Minister of Tourism title for the entire Caribbean.
Josephs noted that holding the prestigious title has been one of the most rewarding aspects of his life thus far. The title as GB Junior Minister for Tourism was handed over to D’asia Russell, an eleventh grade student of Eight Mile Rock High School, the day following his address at the Rotary Club.
Josephs expressed on Wednesday, “Tomorrow is the beginning of the end, but not the end of the world. I am different and I believe I am better, because I had the opportunity to serve as Junior Minister of Tourism. It is true, last Sunday’s touchdowns do not win you future games, but I will never have the recognition of Junior Minister ever again, I go to college and people are going to say, ‘Junior Minister, who?’
“But I am a better public speaker and I understand how liberating it is to have a platform to speak, and to have people listen to your ideas. So, I am not sad that it is over I am happy that it happened.”
Knowles, a 16-year-old student of Lucaya International School, an advocate for fighting for what one desires, is committed to becoming a pediatric surgeon in the future.
An active member of the Interact and Model United Nations Club of LIS, and a bronze awardee of the Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA), she is currently working towards the silver.
Sharing a brief overview of her experience as a member of LIS’s model United Nations Club she said, “I was afforded the amazing opportunity to attend a three day conference at the Sheraton Hotel In New York City for the Global Citizens United Nations (UN) Conference, along with 14 other students in our club.
“Our mentors at LIS, Mr. O’Suliivan and Madam Monche, practiced with us months and months in advance for it. The model United Nations is an extra curricular activity in which students typically role-play as delegates of the United Nations and stimulate UN committees. United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 and is committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights, basically promoting world peace,” she explained.
“In the UN, 195 countries come together to discuss universal problems and find the best possible way to resolve problems, and this is exactly what we did. I was placed in the Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOHCCOM) and given the country of Israel to represent.”
She noted the experience was truly inspiring, as she was able to forge lasting friendships with many of her peers from around the world.
“I have become very acquainted with diplomacy and international issues, and while the UN conferences are diplomatic in relations, respect and cooperations are the fundamentals of the debate. This setting allows every participant to understand how existing international bodies work and the contribution they themselves can make to help solve issues and challenges that affect our countries today.
“Modeling the UN has truly opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and remand to a myriad of possible solutions, to solve the world’s most pressing problems.
“When I joined the MUN, on a whim of course, I found something that I loved – learning about the world, interacting with people fighting diplomatically over fiscal policy. Model UN has helped me develop lasting friendships and a genuine interest in politics,” concluded Knowles.
Recently named the number one high school basketball player in The Bahamas, Franco Miller Jr. a student of Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy, was also invited to the weekly meeting to share his experiences and determination to the sport of basketball.
“As many of you know, I was born into the game of basketball, my father was one of the nation’s best, in his time. I would like to venture to say that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Many people see the success and not what it takes to achieve it.
“Every morning at 5:30 a.m. I wake up and jog about two miles on the beach. Afterwards it is time to go on the court and shoot about 300-500 shots, just below the rim … by that time, I prepare myself for school.
“After school is done, I have practice from 4:00 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m. After practice, my father and I go to the court from about 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., which is then time to complete home- work and other assignments that have to be taken to school the next day. You should know that it is very, very tiresome,” Miller told the audience.
“My father, being as passionate about the sport as he is, did not take it easy on me in any way.”
He recalled one of his encounters with his father’s passion and commitment towards him and the sport.
“It was a lesson in perseverance that I will never forget. It is safe to say that my love for basketball came from my father. The reason I have achieved many things is because of him waking me up at 5:00 a.m. to work out, when everyone else my age was asleep; all of those early mornings and late nights in the gym, while others were playing video games and hanging out with friends certainly paid off. The combination of hard work and preparation resulted in a tremendous difference.”
In conclusion Miller Jr. shared what truly motivates him not only as a basketball player, but also as an individual. “Many people ask me what my motivation is not just in basketball, but in life. My answer is always the same, to hear the words from both of my parents, “I’m proud of you.”
Published Saturday, March, 18, 2017