Kendra Knowles is first BTVI (Grand Bahama) student to attend Holland College
Grand Bahama native Keandra Knowles never imagined she would enroll at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and end up in Canada at college. Knowles was the recipient of an Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) scholarship, and the first student from BTVI’s Grand Bahama campus to be awarded the opportunity.
The scholarship, granted by the Canadian government, provides Latin American and Caribbean students with short-term exchange opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
From the moment Knowles, a construction technology major, found out she had gotten the award, she promised herself that she would make the most out of her experience.
“As individuals, we tend to place limitations upon ourselves regarding dreams and ambition, which is a self-imposing threat to our own success. Nothing is impossible once you believe you can. As Nike says, ‘just do it’,” said Knowles who participated in a student exchange program at Holland College, Prince Edward Island.
Holland College proved to be far different from the BTVI Knowles knew, from the campus and the classes to the teaching methods and the extracurricular activities. Fortunately, she knew that her year-long journey at BTVI had prepared her for the experience.
“The courses were structured differently because, where I would have taken more of a hands-on approach regarding the building process at BTVI, I was challenged to look into the engineering design factors as well as the legal and administrative framework of the construction industry at Holland College. Although there were some differences, I was able to adapt fairly well because I was familiar with much of the content as a result of the knowledge I acquired from BTVI combined with that from past experiences,” said Knowles.
While studying at Holland College, Knowles thrived academically, but she also ventured out into extracurricular activities, joining the women’s basketball team. Being a part of the team allowed her to explore other provinces, such as Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which she claimed was the most exciting aspect of her experience.
“This experience has reinforced the idea that education is dynamic, multi-dimensional and not restricted to formal settings such as within academic institutions,” said Knowles.
“I am more enthused to continue learning about the people whom I meet as well as the environment of which I am engaged in and all that it encompasses. As a result I expect exposure to new ideas, different technologies and methodologies to inspire myself and others to bring about a positive change within our respective environments. The saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’, yet I believe that knowledge is powerful when applied, and as such it is a key to unlocking growth that can lead to change,” she said.
Knowles is grateful to BTVI for helping to provide the opportunity and efficiently equipping her with the skills and knowledge that made it easy for her to adjust to her three-month semester at Holland College.
Veronica Collie, associate vice president of BTVI’s northern campus, said the team was pleased to have had its first ELAP student.
“During Keandra’s period at BTVI Freeport she promoted positive campus growth. BTVI Freeport is grateful to her for representing us,” said Collie.
“When she was chosen, we were all elated, particularly since she was the first ELAP student from the BTVI Freeport campus. It was felt that Keandra would continue to excel at Holland College and bring back a wealth of ideas. This, we have already seen.”
Collie believes Knowles has set the pace for other students from the Grand Bahama campus to be afforded the opportunity to study abroad.