The Office of the Mayor and Council City of North Miami, Azure College and Collaborative Consulting Group donated $5,000.00 to The Beacon School on Friday, September 21.
September 24, 2018
By: Sharell Lockhart
Reprinted by: The Freeport News
Expressly elated to assist students of the special needs institution, representatives of the aforementioned agencies inclusive of Central Grand Bahama Member of Parliament, Iram Lewis and City of North Miami Councilman, Philippe Bien-Aime along with Bahamas Consulate of Miami Representative, Marcia Sands; Collaborative Consulting Group Partner, Sonless Martin; Miami Dade County Public Schools Representative, Dr. Alexia Rolle and Lex Promotions and Marketing Lex Pierre-Louis toured The Beacon School as well as interacted with several pupils with varying degrees of disabilities.
Providing detailed insight regarding the donation Lewis stated, “It is very important for us (The Bahamas Government) to look at our needs from a global perspective and one of the things I campaigned on leading up to the General Elections was that in order for the economy and the country to grow we must reach across international borders (seeking out opportunities for the benefit of all Bahamians).
“In Florida, USA there are a lot of persons (and/or organizations) willing to help and offer assistance to us through numerous initiatives and partnerships and of course this is just one primary example of not only the North Miami City Council but also Azure College and the Bahamas Consulate of Miami coming together to support this very important initiative, which will benefit our special needs students.
“Oftentimes and sadly so, persons with special needs are forgotten and are not provided with the same advantages and/or level playing field as others (normal/non-disabled) would experience, hence we thought it most fitting for focused attention to be placed on students with special needs and that they are provided with the same opportunities and attention as their counterparts.
“Of course, we strive to ensure that this is not only done to meet their needs physically and spiritually but also financially, hence we are present today to continue this on-going initiative, expecting it to grow not only here at the Beacon School but in other areas throughout Grand Bahama where special needs are being attended to.”
Appreciative of the gesture Beacon School Principal, Titi McKenzie-Moss thanked both Lewis and Councilman Bien-Aime along with the other representatives for their support and utilizing their network of resources to assist the students, who are differently abled physically, mentally and socially.
Keenly aware of the challenges those with special needs face Councilman Bien-Aime, who believes in education and providing advantages necessary to improve the educational stance of all, regardless of their capabilities shared, “Firstly, I am delighted to be here in Freeport, Grand Bahama and I extend thanks to The Bahamas Government, as in the United States of America we do believe in education and are happy to witness firsthand how much leaders here care about the education of its citizenry especially children with special needs.
“Certainly, I am proud to be a part of the donation process and working in collaboration with the private sector of North Miami, Florida and pledge to continue working with the Bahamas Government, particularly on Grand Bahama Island to provide educational advancements and opportunities to everyone here.
“Again, I am so happy to be here and to present this check of $5,000.00 to the Beacon School, as it will no doubt provide much-needed assistance to the students here with exceptional needs; we will do everything possible in partnership with The Bahamas Government to extend similar efforts to all children here.”
The donation will go a long way in aiding numerous initiatives at the Beacon School, revealed McKenzie-Moss, who noted that one of the major projects started at the institution is the Sheltered Workshop.
Designed to help students with their artistic capabilities as well as assist them in functioning and demonstrating a new level of independence despite their varying handicaps, McKenzie-Moss explained, “The Sheltered Workshop allows our students the chance to make and sell pottery to the general public as well as engage in detailed cleaning of vehicles.
“Therefore, the donation presented today will help to advance the vision of the Sheltered Workshop (providing the students with a renewed sense of independence) and for that we are truly grateful for all those involved in making this possible and attainable for our students.”
Noticeably absent during the presentation was Bahamas Consulate General Linda Mackey, who wholeheartedly supports the initiative, but was unable to participate due to the death of her father, Stephen Burrows.
Lewis thanked her for being an arm extended to such an important initiative along with her team and network whom he praised for doing a wonderful job of seeking out means to support students of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas in general.
McKenzie-Moss extended sincerest condolences to the Bahamian Consulate General and her family on behalf of The Beacon School and thanked her for planting a seed of hope and encouragement through education that will no doubt blossom and grow exponentially at the school and among the special needs students.