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BDB launches apprenticeship program

The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) has launched its Warren Logan Rolle Apprenticeship Program in which it will sponsor a high school graduate from The Bahamas to attend The University of The Bahamas for a four-year degree.

The program’s first apprentice is 17-year-old Octovia Green who hails from Grand Bahama and attended Eight Mile Rock High School.

“Growing up in a home of nine, I’ve always strived to want better,” said a thankful Green during a brief ceremony at the bank’s headquarters yesterday.

“I constantly reminded myself that if I wanted better, I have to do better. This fueled me to be more ambitious and hard working as well as [it] strengthened me.

“As a future accountant and potential business owner, I believe that this door that has opened in my life will impact my life tremendously and is vital to my success.”

Green was described as being an active member of her community who has also participated in Junior Achievement, the Grand Bahama Local Government Junior Council, the CFAL Junior Investors Program and also the Eight Mile Rock High School Youth Cooperative Society.

Speaking to the program, BDB Managing Director Dave Smith said, “BDB designed the apprenticeship program to target young people just like Octovia who are academically sound, challenged and deserving of a ‘hand up’.

“Octovia displays an indomitable spirit and so did Mr. Warren Logan Rolle during his tenure with BDB.

“She has plans and in speaking with her it is impossible to walk away and not appreciate her passion to be an example not only for her brothers and sisters, but for young people throughout the archipelago of this country,” he continued as he offered words of encouragement to the young woman.

Potential apprentices must possess strong academic performance but also must “demonstrate a passion for national development”.

As part of this new program, they will be given the opportunity to work at BDB in a paid position and gain exposure in business and finance-related areas, furthering their skills development.

For this inaugural launch, Chief Aliv Officer Damian Blackburn was also on hand to extend Aliv’s donation of a complimentary cell phone as well as complimentary cellular services for the duration of Green’s tenure in the program.

He said he was “incredulous and amazed” to learn of the program.

“Mr. Smith asked what Aliv could do to enhance your apprenticeship award, and I thought long and hard and I could think of nothing else as you start on your career and your journey than for us to present you with either an iPhone XR or a Samsung S10,” Blackburn said during the ceremony.

“I’ve put in this letter 12 months complimentary free unlimited service, but we will extend that for the period of the apprenticeship,” he continued.

Rolle, the first managing director of BDB and the man whom the program is named after, was also in attendance and said that he is “truly honored, highly flattered and well pleased” with the program’s unfolding.

Rolle said: “Dave Smith, it is a joy to watch you guys at work in continuing to build this organization, which was in its early days was given very little hope of success.

“As a matter of fact, they didn’t think it (the bank) would last more than two years.

“But it is truly a pleasure to be able to witness what is happening today. And I must offer congratulations to Ms. Octovia Greene, who will be setting her foot in history and starting a path that I trust others may be able and willing to follow.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest extended his congratulations to Green and also to the bank “for continuing to innovate and serve the community of aspiring entrepreneurs”.

“The apprenticeship program is an extension of the values of The Bahamas Development Bank and Mr. Rolle,” he said yesterday.

“In order to cultivate the next generation of Bahamian leaders, the ambition of the youth today must be supported.”

Green gives credit to her family members and supporters for instilling her “values and knowledge”.

“I am overflowing with gratitude and appreciation to the Bahamas Development Bank and Mr. Dave Smith for this golden opportunity to further my education as well as receiving exposure and experience in the banking and finance profession,” she said.

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