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Queen’s College student named top technical cadet

Kerri Bascom awarded a four-year scholarship to The College of The Bahamas
  • Members of the 2013 Technical Cadet Corps Programme graduating class.

  • Anatol Rodgers High School student Deangelo Symonette, second right, was awarded the Most Improved Student in English Award for the 2013 graduating class of the Technical Cadet Corps Programme (TCCP). He is pictured with, from left, Trevor Ferguson, executive director TCCP, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald, and Kayleaser Deveaux- Isaacs from the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.

  • Mt. Carmel Preparatory School student McKyle Grant, center, receives the Bahamas Electricity General Manager’s Award from Marisa Smith, assistant general manager, human resources and training at BEC. At left is Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald.

  • Queen’s College graduating senior Kerri Bascom receives the Technical Cadet Corps Programme top cadet award from Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Jun 12, 2013

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After three years of hard work Queen’s College (Q.C.) graduating senior Kerri Bascom snagged the coveted 2013 Technical Cadet of the Year award from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s Technical Cadet Corps Programme (TCCP).

Kerri, a principal’s list student (grade point average of 3.70 and higher) who aspires to be a civil engineer, was awarded a four-year scholarship by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to The College of The Bahamas.

Kerri received the majority of votes from her peers, lecturers and the sponsors’ panel to win the award over 87 other graduating cadets. She also received the outstanding student award for engineering drawing in the TCCP.

“It means a lot to have won the award and I’m honored to have been chosen for such a prestigious award, but I can’t take full credit,” said the 17-year-old, who added she shares credit for winning the award with the TCCP program administrators and lecturers, and her teachers at Q.C.

The teen, who wants to study civil engineering in college, said through TCCP, a program she was part of for three years, she was introduced to basic engineering topics — architectural drawings, how to set up floor plans and how buildings are constructed. She also gained hands-on experience in radio and television through a summer job set up by the program. She helped in the studio, worked cameras, learned how to program and went out in the field to help the reporters.

“The program has allowed me to do many different courses,” said Kerri, who graduates Queen’s College on Friday with a 3.84 cumulative grade point average and a term average of 4.19 — numbers she’s proud of because education is important to her.

She has been an honor roll student (GPA between 3.00 and 3.69) through grades seven to nine; and a principal’s list student (GPA of 3.70 and above from grade 10 through her senior year).

The teen has also achieved 10 Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exams — eight at A grades, religious studies, English language, combined science, biology, physics, mathematics, French and art and design (which she sat three years early); and two at B grades in chemistry and English literature.

She is awaiting the results of her AP scores for calculus AB, psychology, and studio art. She scored a 640 on her SAT II physics and a 550 on her SAT II biology M (emphasis on molecular biology) examinations. She is awaiting the results of her SAT II biology E (emphasis on ecological biology), SAT II literature, SAT II French and BGCSE geography exams.

She was the national award winner in the BGCSE biology examination having achieved the highest grade in the country for the subject in 2012; she received an honorable mention certificate for outstanding performance in the BGCSE examination (five A grades or more in 2012).


Education is a gift

A good education is important to the teen.

“A good education is the best gift you can give anyone,” she said. “In essence, education is the building block to society and to individuals because they can contribute to society.”

The daughter of Konya Wilson-Bascom, Kerri said her mother has always encouraged her in her studies, but she has always had a motivation toward her work and studying, especially her favorite subjects — math and the sciences.

She also credits her older sister, Kelia Bascom, with helping to get her to where she is today. Kerri said her sister always helped her with studies whenever she did not understand a certain topic in a subject.

With two days before she dons her graduation cap and gown, Kerri is hoping to further her education at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. And is hoping to be awarded at least one of three scholarships (Lyford Cay Scholarship and the Ministry of Education Scholarships — All Bahamas Merit and National Merit Scholarship) that she’s applied for to help pay for that education. Without the scholarship money she said paying for an education at her university of choice would be very tough going for her.

“The scholarships are very important, I’m heavily depending on them to go to college, without them I don’t think it would be possible,” said Kerri. She also has the COB scholarship to take advantage of, which she says she would if she has to as she considers it a fine institution.

While education comes first in her life, when she’s not studying, Kerri relaxes by playing guitar, drawing and painting. Actually, she’s quite the accomplished artist. She received the Department of Education’s 15th Visual Arts Exhibition Outstanding Artist Award 2013; She received first place in the Regional FCAA Art Poster Competition for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012); She was given honorable mention in the 29th Annual Art Competition (high school category 2012) and was the national award winner in the BGCSE Art and Design for achieving the highest grade in the country in May 2010; She received the Governor’s Choice and honorable mention in the Central Bank Art Competition and Exhibition in 2010; She received first place in the painting category for the RBC Finco Summer Art Workshop in 2009; Third place in the drawing category for the Finco Summer Art Workshop in 2009; Second place in the National Arts Festival (Art and Design) in 2009; And first place in the Nutrition Diabetes Poster Competition in 2008.

An animal lover, Kerri has three dogs — Junior, Curly and Kiko, and one cat, Picasso. And she also makes time to volunteer at the Humane Society where she walks and bathes the dogs and cleans the cages and the environment.

Despite an already tight schedule she also found time to participate in a number of extracurricular activities like basketball, track and field (in 2011 she placed second in the discus throw at the National High School Track and Field Championships) and her school’s environmental club.


A good program

As she completed three years of the TCCP program, the top cadet encouraged students entering ninth grade who have an interest in engineering and technology to apply to enter the program. If accepted she said they would gain valuable information in the technical field that would be beneficial to them in the future, and to the country.

TCCP exposes students to various disciplines: Engineering, science, mechanical technology, electronics, engineering drawing, broadcast engineering and water management.

Students who are accepted into the three-year program must have a grade point average of 2.5 and pass a proficiency test that determines their suitability for a career in the respective technical fields.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald told the TCCP graduates that the program they participated in for three years was not a passive undertaking, and that it was for people who want to make a difference and change the world for the better.

“We are looking to you to use your God-given talents and the knowledge acquired from TCCP to find solutions to some of the technical and environmental issues that we face in The Bahamas. We are looking to you to help the corporations who may employ you to become efficient and cutting edge in their services and products,” said Fitzgerald.

The education minister told the graduates that the government, through the education ministry, has already implemented initiatives including the Investing in Students and Programmes for the Innovative Reform of Education (INSPIRE) Career Path Academy at the C.C. Sweeting Senior High School and the Pre-engineering Magnet Program at the Anatol Rodgers High School.

The Career Path Academy will offer possible solutions to numerous socio-economic challenges facing the economy. It is the intention of the government to have career path academies in all senior schools in the country.

Fitzgerald said the academies are expected to prepare students for careers in masonry, carpentry, electrical and structural engineering and installation, graphic design, architectural drafting, sewing, software design, computer repair and installation, auto marine and aircraft mechanics. The minister said the effort would complement the Technical Cadet Corps Programme and enable more students to leave school prepared for the job market and entrepreneurship.

The Technial Cadet Corps Programme was initiated by Dr. Bernard Nottage, 23 years ago.





 Cadet of The Year 2013: Highest Average

Kerri Bascom (4 year Scholarship from  Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to the College of The Bahamas

Scholarship Recipients (All scholarships tenable at the College of the Bahamas, except for Shadrick Farrington whose scholarship is tenable at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute)

Kerri Bascom —  Ministry of Education, Science and Technology  (Queen's College)

Shadrick Farrington — Ministry of Education, Science and Technology  (Doris Johnson Senior High)

Alvin Burrows — Water & Sewerage Corporation (St. Augustine College)

Charles Rose —  Water & Sewerage Corporation (Anatol Rodgers High School)

Trovayne Cargill — Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd  (St. Augustine’s College)

Kelson Campbell —  Bahamas Electricity Corporation (Mt. Carmel Preparatory High Academy)

Andrew LaFleur — Bahamas Electricity Corporation ( C. C. Sweeting Senior High School)

General Manager Awards

McKyle Grant — Bahamas Electricity Corporation

Trovayne Cargill — Bahamas Telecommunication Company

Alex Collie — Water & Sewerage Corporation

Archealous Hart — Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahama

Most Improved Awards

Andrew Lafleur — Electronics

Ustinov Knowles — Computer Software

DeShawn Knowles — Engineering Drawing

Tariq Cartwright — Computer Repair

Celeto McKinney — Water Management

Carlito Edmond — Electrical

Sharise Taylor — Radio and Television

Outstanding Student Field Awards

Hillsia Major — Computer Software

Kerri Bascom — Engineering Repair

Corey Butler — Computer Repair

Sanchia Pratt — Water Management

Alvonee Penn — Electrical

Daija Johnson — Radio and Television

Charles Forbes — Electronics

English Language Awards

Alvin Burrows — Most Outstanding

D’Angelo Symonette — Most Improved

Mathematics Outstanding Awards

Trovayne Cargill — Most Outstanding

Carlito Edmond — Most Improved

Joel Lewis — Most Improved

Teacher’s Awards

English — Lisa Miller

Water Management — Kable Dawkins

Mathematics – Darnell Adderley

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