15 graduates of the BVI Technical Studies Program | New
TORTOLA – Two women received top honors as members of the Class of 2021 at the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies (VISTS). The two were among 15 people who received certificates at a graduation ceremony Friday at the New Testament Church of God International Worship Center in Baughers Bay.
Beyoncé Penn, mother of a 2-year-old who started high school at Elmore Stoutt High School, was a valedictorian.
The toddler, she told the Daily News, was her inspiration.
“My son really motivated me and inspired me to keep going and be the best I can be,” said Penn, who received his certificate in cosmetology. “He really helped me.
Getting the school’s top honors was also somewhat surprising.
” Who would not be ? But I also worked hard for it, ”said Penn, adding that she enjoyed taking online classes because it gave her time to be with her son.
In her remarks to the other graduates, she told them that they had a village to turn to. “When you leave this institution, never feel alone,” she told her fellow graduates. “Always ask for help.”
Penn, who plans to someday own his own salon, plans to attend H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. She said she signed up for VISTS because the school offered programs she was interested in.
Salvationian Keyana Parker, who also earned a cosmetology certificate, said one of her challenges in getting her certificate was learning how to do styles she didn’t like. “It wasn’t my strength,” she said of the nail designs, “but that she owed it for” the good of the client. “
While taking classes, Parker interned at Envy Nail Salon and Spa, noting that the experience helped her better understand the process and the effort that goes into it. “It makes you look at things differently, from a stylist’s point of view,” she said.
She said the pandemic posed other challenges, in that she needed hands-on sessions as part of the learning.
“However, with the teacher using the webcam and being able to see her, it made things easier,” she said.
Parker turns to the University of Cambridge and enters the legal field.
“I’ve watched criminal justice shows, I know a few lawyers and still have an interest in the area,” she told the Daily News. “I just love this area. Looks like I’m fine with it. “
Principal Ande Francis said that since the school’s inception in 2014, it has produced academics who have made significant contributions to the workforce.
“Graduates, I challenge you to discover your own unique ways of contributing to this territory,” he said. “You have been armed with the skills, the skills, the knowledge that will propel you to the highest heights. Go out into the world, claim your place, embrace your future with open arms and enthusiastically pursue your own life’s journey of discovery.
Keynote speaker Ronn Grant told graduates they were “surrounded by dream breakers – some call them enemies,” but said to ignore these people.
“They are dream breakers – people who try to kill people’s dreams with words of doubt, fear and insecurity, just because they never had the courage to try to tell the truth. , could never do what you do, “he said. “I encourage you graduates to stand up for yourself. Against all odds, don’t allow anyone to kill your dreams or impose their limits and insecurities on you. “
He added that only they can set limits.
“Whether it is opening a state-of-the-art salon, a mechanical workshop or running one of the best industries or hotel agencies in the area, if you know within yourself what your passion and your goal are. , make it happen. I repeat, make this happen.