Applications open for environmentalist course

| 20/03/2019
CNS Local Life
Students on a diving course during last year’s programme (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) is accepting applications for the six-month Young Environmentalist Leadership Course (YELC), now in its eighth year. The programme provides an opportunity for 10 local students to continue their educational pathway in the marine sciences as they complete diving training and attend courses at CCMI.

Over the course of the spring, summer and fall semesters, YELC participants earn their PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, and Rescue Diver certifications with Go Pro Diving Cayman, and they attend two separate week-long courses with CCMI education specialists on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman, stated a CCMI press release.

Previous participants have come primarily from John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School and the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, with more students applying to the programme each year due to the growing interest in and the recognition of YELC within the Cayman Islands, said CCMI. To be considered for the programme, students must submit an application and then be interviewed.

In addition to the diving and courses at CCMI, students work on field projects and learn to use scientific instruments and equipment to broaden their skill sets and experiences, which can be used in the workplace.

The YELC programme has “supported 74 students on their journey to learning about the marine environment while also helping to develop important soft skills that will serve participants well in any career path they choose”, CCMI said in the release. The education team which leads the programme also guides the students with writing their CV and conducts mock job interviews to help them prepare for employment.

CNS Local Life
The YELC group after completing a week in Little Cayman in 2018 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

YELC participants also get to do “fun and meaningful things” with CCMI such as going on night dives, helping with lionfish dissections, and assisting with CCMI’s ongoing research. The students also learn about other conservation programmes and organisations in the Cayman Islands through field trips and a week of professional networking opportunities on Grand Cayman. 

“The YELC programme allows us to share our passion for the ocean with students who wish to become ambassadors for our marine environment, with no financial burden to them,” said Katie Correia, CCMI science and education manager. “We created this programme to expose our teenage participants to important opportunities and contacts within the community.”

She added that the programme “bridges an important gap for local students that do not have immediate access to post-school education in the Cayman Islands. The skills they learn in the field of marine science and the dive tourism industry have the potential to translate into a satisfying and rewarding career for our students – right here in the Cayman Islands.”

The YELC programme is sponsored by Foster’s Food Fair IGA and Cayman National Bank. The application deadline is 1 April 2019.

Students interested in the programme should contact the education department of CCMI at

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Category: Education, Environment, Marine Environment

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