Youth Ocean Explorers

Summer of Fun and NEW EXPERIENCES

Sparking Ambition for the Future

Summer fun comes in many forms, and this past
summer at UVI was no exception. Through a variety of
offerings, Virgin Islands youth had opportunity to be
engaged in positive learning and skills development
activities at the St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses.

While some UVI students used the time between the Fall
and Spring semesters to work or take courses that will
accelerate their progression towards a degree, some
Virgin Islands youngsters had their first personal
experience at UVI through summer programs such as
University Bound, a residential program that prepares
current high school students for the expectations of
college and life on campus; the Inclusive Childcare Lab
and Diagnostic Center, which hosts an annual
STEM/sports summer camp on St. Thomas for children
ages 6-8; and UVI’s 2023 Mathematics Behind the Data
Science (MBDS) Summer Program, a residential program
designed to enhance the mathematics preparedness of college-bound
students who are interested in pursuing
careers in science, data science, mathematics,
engineering, technology, or medicine.

Entrepreneurship Business Institute
Entrepreneurship Business Institute

Immanuel Christian, who participated in the
Entrepreneurship Business Institute Program at UVI’s
Orville E. Kean Campus gained valuable experience that
he hopes to apply in the future. “My personal experience
was great; how I got to make new friends, got to
experience how it feels to be in college living with
roommates and other interesting things. The lessons I
learned were how to properly make a business plan. I got
to meet people that have the same interest and to get
the experience so maybe one day I can start my own
business,” he reported.

Adding to the dynamic offerings available to the
Territory’s young people, UVI’s School of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service offered a five-week
summer program, “Growing Your Best Self – ‘YOU, Me, ‘All
Ah We,’” for learners aged 10-14. Participants enjoyed
gardening, hiking, art projects, career exploration,
cooking, and other fun activities.

The Reichhold Center for the Arts hosted its annual Youth
Moviemaking Workshop, where students between the
ages of 11 and 14 acquired the skills to produce their own
videos and digital content. At the end of the intense
seven-week, hands-on program, students were able to
exhibit their films to the community at a “Red Carpet
Premiere” event.

Youth Moviemaking Workshop
Youth Moviemaking Workshop

Eleven-year-old Mayah Williams, who has aspirations of
becoming a YouTube content creator, spent three weeks
of the program working with other youngsters to create
the concept, write the script, make costumes, do makeup,
and act in “About Time,” a short film that captures the
journey through time of four unsuspecting students.

Following the experience, she wants to make another
movie. “I enjoyed having fun, making new friends,
learning how to make a movie and editing,” she said,
while thanking the UVI workshop leaders who helped her
overcome the challenges of learning how to edit.

Another popular summer experience is the Youth Ocean
Explorers Summer Camp program. Each year campers
are introduced to swimming, snorkeling, water safety,
marine plant and animal identification and scuba diving
at the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix as well as the
Orville E. Kean Campus on St. Thomas.

UVI student Maura Monee’ Richardson served as a
mentor in the program this year. “YOE has profoundly
shaped my journey, steering me from uncertainty to a
clear path as a marine biologist and future aquatic
veterinarian. Becoming a mentor has been a marvelous
experience, fostering my passion for education and
continuous learning. Through this program, I’ve acquired
essential skills for my future in marine biology and
developed a deep appreciation for the importance of the
ocean’s wonders,” she shared.

“I think it’s a fantastic and educational program for kids
to learn about the sea and gain experience all while
having fun, ” Kaiden Odlum, who participated in the on St.

Expressing similar sentiments, UVI student Kadejsha
Tonge stated; “I have been a part of the Youth Ocean
Explorer summer program for 8 years now – since I was 11
years old – and now, I am a junior in college studying
marine biology. YOE has not only given me a jump start in
my career, but also allowed me to discover my purpose.
From work opportunities to connections with great
people, I owe everything I have accomplished and will
accomplish to YOE.”


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