Blue Lagoon Island Hosts BREEF BESS Scholar

BREEF BESS Scholar Maya Lindeman assists Blue Lagoon Island Education Supervisor Te-Shalla Clarke with a wellness check on Bonnie the sealion.

As her peers settle into their college dorms, Windsor School’s class of 2023 graduate, Maya Lindeman, has chosen a distinctive path. Instead of heading straight to college, Maya has embarked on a transformative gap year to gain practical experience—a decision she believes will significantly enhance her college journey.  

She was one of two students to be named a Bahamas Environmental Stewards Scholar (BESS) program awardee. The year long program is offered in partnership by the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) and The Island School in Eleuthera.  

Maya has her sights set on a degree in Environmental Policy and Law and is confident that the hands-on experience gained during her gap year will provide her with an invaluable foundation for her ambitious academic pursuit. 

The 18-year-old is spending two weeks working side by side with the educational and zoological teams at Blue Lagoon Island, learning about marine species, husbandry, which is the care of animals, animal training and the company’s sustainability practices. 

BESS scholars spend a semester at the Island School and participate in a paid four-month internship with BREEF. As part of the internship, scholars spend two weeks working alongside organizations including Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation, IDEA Relief and Blue Lagoon Island. 

“I’ve always had a strong passion for the environment, and I know I want to work in the field. These weeks at Blue Lagoon Island have been amazing as it really pulls me into the physical aspect of what it is I’ve been studying all along,” she said of her immersion at Blue Lagoon Island.  

The Blue Lagoon Island immersion is led by the company’s education supervisor Te-Shalla Clarke. She explains that the partnership with BREEF and The Island School is a natural one for the company. 

Source: Blue Lagoon

More photo highlights below:

Noah, one of the young dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island practiced his cheek kiss on BREEF BESS Scholar
Maya Lindeman as part of his daily training sessions.

Blue Lagoon Island Zoological Supervisor Alfonso Parker shows BREEF BESS Scholar Maya Lindeman
some of the husbandry behaviors performed daily on young dolphin Noah.

As part of her 2 week immersion at Blue Lagoon Island, BREEF BESS Scholar Maya Lindeman assists the
zoological team with daily wellness checks of some of the facility’s dolphins,