Patrick Lamontagne F08 has held many different roles over the years as a member of The Island School community – student, alumni, educator, advisor, director, and friend. His Island School journey has taken him from South Africa to Eleuthera to North Carolina, back to Eleuthera, and eventually landed at his home in Canada. While he’s been all over the world, one thing remains the same wherever he lands – he is living The Island School vision of leadership effecting change. 

When Patrick was just finishing college, he was searching for a job where he could be a member of an intentional community – something he felt was missing from his college experience. He immediately thought back to his 17-year-old self and knew that The Island School was the place he had to be. As a student, Patrick found a community amongst his Semester cohort. Coming from South Africa, he felt like a bit of an outsider at first. He was in a new country with a lot of peers from America and he couldn’t quite relate to them. Very quickly though, he found an intentional community on campus and his friends became a family. He left his semester with a newfound confidence and headed off to college. 

Return to The Island School

Six years later in 2014, Patrick found himself returning to The Island School, this time as a faculty member. Fresh out of college, he applied for both a Summer Term position and a Semester position. At the start of the summer, he showed up in Eleuthera, with bags packed for that full-time semester role, only to realize he got the Summer Term job. Laughing about it today, he remembers another staff member on campus saying “You got a lot of stuff for a month.” While he may have misunderstood which position he got, at the end of the summer, he was hired on to another role within Visiting Programs (previously known as Educational Programs), allowing him to stay on full-time. After three years of holding various roles on campus, Patrick was then hired as the Director of Summer Term in 2017. 

“Taking on the role of Director of Summer Term was really exciting. I think I was 24 at the time, which was a huge amount of responsibility I felt. In hindsight, I look back on it and I’m like ‘who in their right mind was like this person could do this?’ And I think that speaks to a lot of the experience at The Island School. People are willing to put trust in you and take a chance.” He also attributes The Island School community to his success in his role because he knew he had a strong support system he could rely on when faced with challenges.

Where is Patrick today?

Today, Patrick is a Senior Manager for Ocean Bridge, a 6-month part-time program that empowers Canadian youth ages 18-30 to become ocean ambassadors. Funded by the Canadian Service Corps, Patrick became interested in working for Ocean Bridge when he saw the parallels to The Island School. “We have the adventure component at the beginning to bring people together, a kind of project-based component – so really letting participants drive what they want to be doing in the program based on their interests.

Finally, we bring it all together with what we call the ‘Urban Learning Journey,’ which is similar to the second 8-day kayak trip where it’s really participant-driven. This second learning journey takes place at the end and is all about engaging the public, meeting with policymakers, and trying to enact change.” The program is broken up into cohorts across Canada and empowers participants to take action for ocean conservation in their respective communities. They’re providing resources for Canadian youth and young professionals across the country to be better stewards of their environment and enabling them to enact meaningful change. 

“In a lot of ways I’m living The Island School vision of leadership affecting change in this current job and I’m empowering other people to be leaders. So if young Canadians come through a program at The Island School – whether that’s Summer Term, through Educational Programs, etc – and they’re looking to continue the work that they’re doing [on campus] in Canada, but they don’t know how to, reach out to me. Whether it’s a chance to participate in this program that I’m running or looking for other avenues, I’m always happy to be that support person.”

If you are Canadian and interested in learning more about Ocean Bridge, email and we’ll be happy to connect you with Patrick.