The Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars (BESS) program is a unique opportunity for graduating students in The Bahamas ages 15-18 who have a keen interest in the environment and want to learn more as they transition from high school to university studies. Successful applicants will participate in a 14-week academic semester at The Island School in South Eleuthera and a four-month paid internship at an environmental conservation-related organization. Upon completion of high school, students can use BESS as a gap year experience before pursuing further studies. The BESS Program is administered in collaboration with BREEF. This semester The Island School is excited to welcome BESS Scholars Kerwin Mullings and Deneé Rankine.
Fall 2014 BESS Scholar Kerwin Mullings.

Originally from Nassau, Kerwin Mullings comes to The Island School as a graduate of C.V. Bethel Senior High School.  Garnering a strong interest in the environment and marine sciences, Kerwin saw The Island School as an opportunity to not only pursue his passions but also gain experience in a field he hopes to work in professionally. An explorer at heart, Kerwin hopes to one day travel the world working as an environmental scientist.

Kerwin, Ellie and Peter K. take a moment to pose for a photo before heading out on their kayak trip.

Having just returned from his 8-day kayak trip, Kerwin is excited to be back and dive right into life on campus again.  Discussing his trip, Kerwin says, “Kayak was great. What I liked the most about it was solo”.  Looking ahead, Kerwin is excited for parents weekend and being able to share everything he has accomplished so far with his family, particularly the work he has done in research class. Reflecting on his experience thus far Kerwin says that The Island School has broadened his perception of the world, creating a “watershed that gets wider and more detailed with every step”.


Fall 2014 BESS Scholar Deneé Rankine.

Deneé Rankine comes to The Island School from a bit closer. Hailing from Savannah Sound located 60 km north of campus, Deneé enters Fall 2014 as a graduate of Central Eleuthera High School. Always making those around her laugh, Deneé is interested in marine biology and hopes to continue her studies pursuing an undergraduate degree in the States after her time here. 

Deneé prior to departing on  her kayak trip.

Having also  just returned from her 8-day kayak trip, Deneé is excited to reconnect with academics and friends on campus. Discussing her experience, Deneé says that her favorite aspect of the trip by far was the close bonds she developed with peers as a result of 8 days spent kayaking in a small group.  Over the next half of the semester, Deneé is most looking forward to the Research Symposium in November and is excited to see her family over parents weekend.

We would like to thank our supporters of the BESS program over the years: The Moore Bahamas Foundation, AML Foods Limited, Bahamas Waste Limited, Frank & Cha Boyce, BREEF, The Brown Foundation, Cans for Kids, Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina, Carey Construction, Cates Family, Colina Imperial, Cotton Bay Foundation, John and Tanya Crone, Frank Crothers, Sean & Sarah Farrington, Friends of the Environment, Amanda Graham, Lawrence Griffin, Bobbie Hallig, Lynn Holowesko, Stephen & Alessandra Holowesko, Horation Alexander Catering & Events, Nancy Kelly, Mark & Dawn Knowles , LaBoiteaux Family Foundation, Lori & Jimmy Lowe, Lyford Cay Foundation, Lyford Cay School, Mactaggart Third Fund, Will & Lisa Mathis, Chris & Pam Maxey, Mark Maynard, Ross & Nancy McDonald, Chuck & Reva Murphy, James and Kylie Nottage, Lady Eugenie Nuttall, Hap & Cecilia Perry, Stuart & Robin Ray, Save The Bays, Scotia Bank, Brian & Laurel Smith, Brent & Robin Symonette, Craig & Michelle Symonette, TK Foundation, Donald & Debbie Tomlinson, Peter and Pippa Vlasov and Beatrice von der Schulenberg.