Students attending the “Males with a Promise” Junior Universitynow in its third week at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix campus are ready to go out into the community to gather information on freshwater farming and rum production, according to On-site coordinator Basil Williams. The 7th grade boys are taking courses in English, mathematics, language arts, physical education and a vocational class in carpentry.
The students are also engaging in professional development sessions as a means to develop and improve character. “The programs and activities of the university are designed to change the sense of despair into a sense of hope,” Williams said. “We can’t correct academic deficiencies in five weeks, but we can certainly change attitudes in five weeks.”
Career pathways are also a focus of the Junior University. “We want them to discuss what it takes and what education is necessary to achieve their career goals,” Williams said.
Hence, the Junior University coordinator is allowing the students the opportunity to experience firsthand the operation of industries. The Junior University learners will go on the following field trips to gain valuable experience and knowledge on possible careers:
nUVI Tilapia Farms on July 11. Students will a get a thorough introduction into the production of freshwater fish for human consumption.
nDiageo on July 25. The Junior Universitystudents will examine the scenes behind the production of rum, a longtime mainstay of the island economy, and other liquor.
Staff members guiding the Junior University seventh grade boys onto personal, academic and career success are, Lisa Magras, reading; Andrea Hobson, writing; Meria Marcel, mathematics; Andre Francis, math and science; Michael Thurland, carpentry; and Toni Messer and Nicalda Bruno in professional development. About eight college students are also serving as teacher-assistants in their respective field. Monitor Gene Stone is not encountering many problems keeping the students behavior inline while on campus.
Parents are invited to a culminating activity for the first St. Croix Junior University at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
For more information on the Junior Universitycampus on St. Croix, contact Rene Hansen, program manager of Safe Schools, at 773-1095, ext. 7057.