Graduates of the Class of 2022 of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) were honored for their accomplishments during the Spring Commencement exercise. They accepted certificates, diplomas and degrees during the institute’s graduation ceremonies, Thursday, June 16, at Bahamas Faith Ministries International.
The Hon. Zane Lightbourne, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Technical & Vocational Training, headed the list of dignitaries at the celebration. Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; board of directors, senior government officials, industry partners, faculty, administrators, well-wishers and family were also present. The theme for the event was “Positioned for the Now, Prepared for the Future.”
In welcome remarks, Dr. Linda Davis, interim president, BTVI, applauded and celebrated the graduates for staying the course. “We applaud you for remaining steadfast and choosing to invest in yourselves despite the vicissitudes of life. “Congratulations! You are strong, brave victorious. You did it!” she said.
She called on the graduates to be life-long learners. “Represent us well. Continue to make us proud. Be workers or entrepreneurs of integrity. And likewise King Solomon admonishes us all, whatsoever thy hand findith to do, do it with all thy might. You’ve worked hard for this moment. Today is truly a commencement, a beginning, not the end.”
Commencement speaker Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Executive Director, Lyford Cay Foundations, told the graduates that their choice to study at BTVI was a “risk well worth taking.”
“I congratulate you for the bold move you took today for tomorrow.” She told the graduates that while it may not have been optimal or easy they completed what they set out to do and demonstrated “extraordinary resilience in the face of extraordinary circumstances.”
As the proud daughter of a fashion designer, and the granddaughter of a tailor and seamstress, Dr. Virgill-Rolle realized early the opportunities in creativity.
“My mother sewed full-time when I was a young child. I grew up around bobbins, thimbles, needles, and thread. Eventually when she took an office positon it was her evening activity that brought her so much joy at dressmaking as well as enabled us to have a good living. She loved designing and creating. I saw first-hand that the creativity used for dressmaking could translate into so many other things.
Dressmaking required many other skills, spatial knowledge, mathematics, innovation and creativity. I realized that sewing as well with many of the other trades and technical skills provided a person with a framework for problem- solving,” said Dr. Virgill-Rolle.
She outlined the following:
First you must conceptualize your desired end result;
Be willing to make adjustments as you go;
Be flexible — an important life lesson;
Be satisfied with themselves and the end product.
Moreover, Dr. Virgill-Rolle encouraged the students not to be discouraged despite challenges, which will come. “I truly believe that challenges today prepare us for the future,” she said.