Virgin Gorda Youth Leadership Initiative






Virgin Gorda youth Feliza Fenty is an aspiring TV journalist.  She is eager to find ways to use the power of the media to promote sustainable tourism.  She surveyed 80 people in the BVI on their perceptions of their environment.   She was concerned that while students in the United Kingdom must watch the environmental documentary, The Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, many BVI students had never heard of it.   “While the truth is inconvenient, we must each do our part,” she said. “Before you throw that soda can in the road, think twice. We can be a shining example.”  Feliza presented her report to delegates at the Caribbean Media Exchange Conference on Sustainable Tourism in San Juan.
Making Dreams Come True Training
Marsha Reeves-Jews

The Institute hosted guest speaker Ms. Marsha Reeves-Jews, an entrepreneur from Baltimore who shared stories about black professionals who achieved greatest in their careers and communities.

Dr. Mark Dean came from a poor family in Tennessee and is now IBM’s Design Scientist and Inventor.  Ms. Joanne Barry oversees 24 U.S. states as Boeing International’s Small Business Purchasing Officer. Ben Carson is a world-class pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. As President of Lockheed Martin’s Global Strategies, Art Johnson manages 2,000 people.  Nancy Stewart is WalMart’s Chief Information Officer and Lt. General Joe Ballard is the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps Engineers.   “It’s important that our black youth have opportunities to learn about successful people who look like them – so they can do, and be what they want to be,” said Ms. Reeves-Jews.  “We can be whoever we want to be if we are committed to our dreams. We need to vision tomorrow today.”

Ms. Reeves-Jews encouraged Virgin Gorda youth to research prominent BVI professionals, especially Virgin Gorda who reached their professional goals both here and abroad.  “Take pride in who you are,” she said “and responsibility for helping younger children strive to reach their goals.”
During the workshop, Ms. Reeves-Jews provided individualized career counseling so youth could develop their own personal action plans. “I was impressed with the focus, determination and hard work of these young people,” said Ms. Jews. “I can see the progress they’ve made with VGYLI and sincerely believe that if they stay on track, they will realize their career goals.”

Ms. Reeves-Jews is a board member of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute.  Her bio: Our Team.