Students eat fire and walk over broken glass
"Make It Happen", "Do your best the first time" and "Crazy people succeed" were messages shared by high-energy motivational speaker Bert Oliva with Ocean Academy students last week. To demonstrate the power of self-confidence and mind over matter, students were invited to eat fire and walk on glass. They did it! They can do anything!
Kyle Requena wins National Award for Youth in Tourism
Kyle excels in Ocean Academy's Aquatic Tourism Physical Education (P.E.). He is a certified Advanced Scuba Diver, Community Reef Technician, skilled kayaker and keen fly-fisherman. Kyle shares his love of Caye Caulker, marine eco-systems and aquatic sports with visitors and he is well deserving of this national honour. Congratulations!
Dr. Corinth Morter Lewis is Ocean Academy's Counsellor
Ocean Academy is very fortunate to have one of Belize's most experienced counsellors working with our students on campus every Thursday and Friday. Mothers and fathers packed the room for Dr. Lewis's first parent evening workshop: "How to Communicate with your Teenager".
Dr. Lewis was born in Belize City, educated in Belize and the U.S., and earned her PhD in Alberta, Canada. She is a chartered psychologist, President Emeritus and current adjunct professor with the University of Belize. Dr. Lewis's position at Ocean Academy is funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan.
Students share dreams via skype with Peter Strople and Caterina Barregar
Students shared their career dreams this week with two of Ocean Academy friends and supporters; Peter Strople is known as the "most connected man in America" and former director with Dell Computer Corps, and Caterina Barregar helps people with Imagine Life Coaching.
Elvis wants to be a marine mechanic; Mathew likes computer programming; Anisa dreams of a life in the performing arts; Lilly wants to study law; Sean wants to be an engineer; Evelio hopes to be a pilot; Saira plans to become an architect; Kimberly is intrigued by a career as a detective; Annabella wants to run a hotel and Ashtashia would like to be a pastry chef. These are just some of the dreams and aspirations that Ocean Academy students expressed.
Peter and Caterina plan to connect students with career mentors and help them along the path of realizing their dreams.
"Kayak with Purpose" Entrepreneurial Program gets a new fleet
Our six brand-new school kayaks have arrived! Thank you to Jackson Kayaks, Kenco and a CARSI grant from the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan.
Visitors can book a kayak trip with Kyle Requena and other trained students for an island youth's interpretation of Caye Caulker. Highlights include visting a seahorse colony, feeding tarpon, exploring mangrove ecosystems and seeing the entrance to an underwater cave. Earnings support the students' families, school tuition and school.
The photo attached to this report shows our inagural trip in the new Jackson kayaks with students from Stevenson School, California (our partner as a NOAA Ocean Guardian School).
We're ready for Back to School with freshly painted classrooms, repaired furniture, and a clean campus. An attractive and welcoming school, we feel, encourages students to take pride in their campus and creates a positive learning environment. How did we do it all in just three days? Through the power of community teamwork and volunteerism! This was the Beautification Team:
It is with great pride that we introduce you, our supporters and friends, to Ocean Academy's graduating class of 2013! Family, teachers, community members and friends joined together on June 13th to celebrate the achievements of Caye Caulker newest high-school graduates. Your support has played a huge role in this wonderful milestone moment. We know you were all there with us in spirit (and some of you even made the trip to Belize!).
Your ten 2013 graduates are: Ireni Alpuche, Elmir Arana, Monica Barrera (Vote of Thanks), Michael Blease (Valedictorian), Zeida Chan, Stephanie Chuc, Denzel Co, Idalia Delgado, Yvon Noralez and Shania Sanchez (Saludatorian).
Our 2013 class already has big plans for next year. Nine students have been accepted into the University of Belize and St.John's Junior College. They plan to study diverse fields such as Visual Arts and Graphic Design, Business, Science and Tourism Studies. We know that you are as proud as we are of these young Belizean men and women, and join us in wishing each and every one the very brightest of futures.
It has been some time since our last report, but you'll understand when you read about how many activities and projects the Ocean Academy students have been doing this year.
National Science Fair Competition: Students Yuma, Kyle, Leivy and Ramiro (not pictured) represented Ocean Academy in Belize City as part of a Caribbean-wide SAGICOR Visionaries Sustainable Solutions Science Fair. The team`s project focussed on the Compost & Gardening Project as one solution to the problem of waste disposal on Caye Caulker. Students also had to demonstrate how their project incorporated S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Field Trip to Belize City Women's Month Summit: Delegates from Oceean Academy's Female Leadership Community (empowerment and leadership club) attended the 8th Women's Day Summit in Belize City. The theme this year was "The Gender Agenda, Gaining Momentum". Read the girls' blog to hear what they liked most about the March field trip and speakers.
Teen Mentoring and Leadership Training Weekend: 13 Ocean Academy students earned certificates in Teen Mentorship from the Black Gold School District, Alberta, Canada and led engaging playground activities for primary-school children in February. Student Services teachers Sam Boss-Bischoff, Denise Harrison, and five of their students facilitated engaging discussions about peer mentorship strategies, characteristics of role models, communication skills, expressing encouragement and forms of diversity.
Belize Shark Project: Guest speaker Dr. Rachel Graham led an engaging session about sharks with the Ocean Academy Marine Biology class in February, followed by another activity session with the primary-school Environmental Club. The younger children made Valentine's Day cards to their favourite shark! The older students can't wait to go out on the water with Dr. Graham to help her tag sharks in April.
More photos and stories: Check out our school website to see additional photos and stories about Sports Day, Business Fair, class projects, teacher academic accomplishments and volunteer group projects.
2012 was a very good year for Ocean Academy students. Your donations are truly making a positive difference in the lives of young Belizeans. High-school attendance on Caye Caulker is exceeding the rest of the nation: only 40% of high-school age students attend school across Belize while an estimated 70% attend on Caye Caulker. Your scholarship pledges and recurring donations play a huge role in this success statistic. As the student sign says in the first photo, "thank you for giving us the gift of a lifetime...our education".
If you can't escape the winter cold this year and come to Belize, then you can still meet the students through video links below:
Happy New Year from the students and staff of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy!
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