More than 50 applicants have applied for the University of  The Bahamas’ (UB) and Disney Cruise Line’s (DCL) “ground-breaking” initiative designed to position participants for the island’s burgeoning economy.

UB through its Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning (CELEARN) division, in collaboration with Disney Cruise Line (DCL) announced a Leading Light Programme January 31, 2024 during a press conference at the university’s Oakes Field campus on University Drive.

Executives of UB and DCL described LLP as “transformative” and intended to provide participants with basic hospitality training including job readiness, leadership and soft skills.

UB President Janyne Hodder said the institution was honored to be delivering what they do best in a “customized” way that best serves the needs of a community of job seekers in Eleuthera.

Dr. Maria Oriakhi, VP Academic Affairs, said LLP is a comprehensive endeavor aimed at not only honing the skills of participants but also nurturing leadership qualities.

She said the initiative transcends mere education. “It’s about empowerment. It’s about cultivating a skilled workforce that will significantly contribute to the economic and cultural vibrancy of Eleuthera. We firmly believe that by investing in our students we are investing in the future prosperity of our island.”

Joey Gaskins, Regional Director Public Affairs, DCL, said their primary interest is “impact” and is not focused on supplying the cruise line’s newest destination with talent. He said its focus is “community — improving the prospects of Eleutherans for the benefit of Eleuthera.”

“The LLP is a first-of-its-kind programme for the cruise industry in The Bahamas and we hope it is an example that will illustrate the beneficial relationships that cruise lines can have with the port communities we call home,” said Gaskin.

CELEARN director Tammy Archer welcomed applicants and said they are confident that the residents of Eleuthera will benefit greatly from this awesome scholarship-based opportunity.

The programme offers two sessions (mornings and evenings) and comprises three cohorts. The first cohort is already subscribed.  Cohort 2 and 3 will be offered in the summer and fall 2024.

Upon successful completion of LLP, participants will be awarded a UB certificate.   

By KATHRYN CAMPBELL/Bahamas Information Services

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