Now into its third year of operation, the SOL & Friends Scholarship and Mentorship Program is coming into its own. The program is a collaborative effort between SPBL, local entrepreneurs and the Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute (BTVI). Thanks to Sol & Friends, the financial burden has been lifted for students such as Kwanzaa Clarke. The Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning major and Esso Oakes Field OTR employee, is now able to spend more time focusing on his studies and raising his young daughter as opposed to the gruelling hours spent working two jobs in order to afford tuition and books.
What truly defines Sol & Friends is the mentorship aspect of the program. Shortly after launching Sol & Friends, a two day training session was hosted for both the Mentors and Mentees. The objective was to establish clearly the role of mentors, outlining expectations for both mentors and mentees. The training was hosted by Pastor Dave Burrows, who emphasized the importance of mentorship and having the right tools and skills to maximize the effectiveness of mentorship.
Since the training session, students had the opportunity to officially meet their assigned mentors through a group mentorship session held at BTVI’s campus. During the session, SPBL General Manager Keith Glinton reflected on the significance of mentorship in his life, recalling how having an effective mentor helped to mold his future. Additionally, BTVI President Dr. Robert W. Robertson had a chance to sit and chat with the recipient’s one on one where he expressed how pleased he was with their attitudes and eagerness towards furthering their education. “I am confident that you have a good program and you’ve got some really good students. We’re just pleased to be a part of it,” said Dr. Robertson as he addressed Sol and Friends.