For the ninth year, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute is offering its Young Environmentalist Leadership Course for students ages 15-19.
Applications for the intensive six-month programme are being accepted by CCMI through 1 April.
In past years, 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, according to a CCMI press release. More than 80 students have taken the course over the previous eight years.
CCMI said it is seeing YELC alumni flow into professional roles in the dive tourism and environmental science fields.
Up to 10 students will be selected to participate in the course, which runs from 2 May to 25 Oct.
The programme, which launched in 2012, “was created to provide an opportunity for local students to continue their educational pathway in the marine sciences”, according to CCMI.
Over the course of the spring, summer and fall semesters, YELC participants complete their PADI open water, advanced, and rescue diver certifications; and participate in a nine-day immersive, hands-on experience with education and research staff at the Little Cayman Research Centre. Students also work on field projects; take part in night dives, lionfish dissections and mock job interviews; and assist with CCMI’s ongoing research.
“The YELC programme works to build skilled and enthusiastic environmental ambassadors while bridging an important gap for local students that may not have access to post-school education in the Cayman Islands. Participants complete the course … with tangible dive and emergency first responder qualifications, as well as real-life, skills-based experience that not only helps guide them in the future but also provides excellent references for CVs and interviews with potential educators or employers,” CCMI said in the release.
Interested students must first submit an application to CCMI and then be interviewed.