Tristar launches TEOP second chapter
The second installment of a 28-week mentoring program designed to equip soon-to-be graduates with essential interpersonal and leadership skills has been launched at Government High School (GHS) with the induction of 30 11th and 12th grade students.
Tristar Insurance Agents & Brokers Ltd. launched the second installment of the Tristar Education Optimization Programme (TEOP) on November 2 at the British Colonial Hilton.
TEOP provides a 360-degree approach to mentoring. Spearheaded by TEOP Administrator Annis Albury, five mentors, each working with a team of six students, guide the students through the teachings of “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Teens”, by Sean Covey.
The students interact extensively with their mentors and engage in presentations, debates and character-building activities. Once a week, a classroom at the GHS campus becomes a place of solace, where each TEOP student can immerse him or herself in positivity with a warm hug, a listening ear and a hot meal.
The results from the inaugural TEOP program speak for themselves. Within a six-month period, the TEOP students increased their grade point averages (GPA) by an average of one grade point.
“I saw drastic changes in every student, from their attitudes to the way they interacted with their peers,” said Albury. “Although in the same school, many of them were strangers to each other, and the way they embraced and helped each other to achieve the full benefits of the program was amazing. At the closing awards ceremony, every student received an award for improvement as all were able to increase their GPAs by notable grade points, and that was very refreshing to me.”
Tristar launched the TEOP program in 2015 to commemorate its 10th anniversary. In lieu of an anniversary party, the company invested more than $60,000 into the mentoring program.
A diverse group of students of varying academic acumen made up the TEOP freshman class. Some students were on the straight and narrow and others they said could be described as at risk, rarely attending classes and severely underperforming.
“Our goal was to inspire hope and to present university as a real and attainable option for all of the TEOP students,” said Harold Antor, president of Tristar Insurance Agents & Brokers Ltd. “To demonstrate this we included a $40,000 scholarship for one student to attend The University of The Bahamas in the President’s Scholars Programme, after the completion of the program.”
Leandra Mackey was the scholarship recipient. She is a biology and chemistry major, wh
o aspires to teach at the University of The Bahamas in the future. Now a sophomore, Mackey, a first generation university student, credits the TEOP program with providing her the opportunity to pursue higher education.
“TEOP was a breath of fresh air,” said Mackey. “I met my best friend through the program. Not only did it enable me to interact with other students I normally would not have, I learned to work with others better, met mentors who are now like family to me and became the first person in my immediate family to go to university.”
The TEOP vision is to have a mentoring program in all public schools nationwide and to consistently provide access to university for TEOP students who meet the criteria.
“Tristar is doing a wonderful thing because we can’t do it alone,” said Eloise Whyms, principal, Government High School.
Tristar has partnered with the University of The Bahamas to create a $500,000 endowment to realize the vision of TEOP in perpetuity. Interested donors may email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the movement.