WHEN Mark Fraser walked across the stage to receive his certificate, his mother, Kelcene Kelly, was not cheering him from the audience like other parents and supporters.
Instead, she was adorned with graduation insignia and seated nearby as a member of the Class of 2022 at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute.
The mother and son duo are among 226 graduates of the New Providence Class of 2022, who have earned a wide variety of certificates, diplomas and degrees.
Ms. Kelly obtained her office assistant certificate, while Mr. Fraser obtained his plumbing certificate.
Despite the difference in subject matter, the couple shared similar triumphs and challenges associated with college life.
“BTVI has been a great experience, but there have been sleepless nights and huge challenges like turning in that homework every week,” Ms Kelly said.
For Mark, “BTVI was a lot of things” because he transferred from another college and struggled at first.
“When I first entered BTVI it was different from what I was before and I failed a lot of classes. I ended up getting tired of failing and I wanted to prove to myself that I could achieve things like everyone else. I wanted to show them that I am a hard-working person,” Fraser said.
Neither saw being enrolled in BTVI together as an obstacle, but rather as a motivator to get to graduation.
“Being at school with my son was not a big deal. I loved telling people that my son and I were going to BTVI at the same time. However, we didn’t see each other much on campus because his classes were in the mornings and mine were in the evenings,” Ms. Kelly said.
Mr. Fraser stressed that rather than any apprehension about going to university with his mother, his goal was to persevere.
As for the next steps, the pair will use their academic achievements to succeed in a competitive work world. Ms Kelly also plans to return to BTVI in the fall semester as she and her son continue to ‘climb the ladder of success’.
As BTVI Acting President Dr. Linda Davis noted at the 2022 launch ceremony, individuals can graduate from the institute as many times as they wish. Encouraging graduates to learn throughout their lives, Dr. Davis invited graduates to return to BTVI to continue their educational journey.
BTVI is the primary education organization that provides technical and vocational education and training in the Bahamas.
Programs range from media technology, electrical installation, information technology, and electronic engineering to fashion design, cosmetology, human resource management, and auto mechanics, among others – some of which include international certifications.
The institution offers ready-to-use, professionally certified nano-degrees, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certifications, Professional Development Courses (PDCs), and specialized training for organizations under his continuing education. BTVI is also a City and Guilds Center and a CISCO Academy.