Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Kyle was not a valedictorian like his older sister, and did not plan to attend high school. However, Ocean Academy's scuba certification program "hooked" him into the academics. He learned fly fishing and kayak, as well as marine ecology, communications, accounting, entrepreneurship, tour guiding skills. He graduated 2014 and earned a National Youth Award for Tourism. Ocean Academy hired Kyle as an assistant fly-fishing instructor one afternoon per week and he now mentors youth. Kyle is studying now to certify as a guide. Moreover, five tour operators have already offered him fishing and guiding employment, based on the skills he learned at Ocean Academy. Fly Fishing is one of the highest-paid tourism jobs and is very specialized.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Ocean Academy’s Aquatic Tourism Program attracts island youth to attend high school by appealing to their interest in the island’s sport tourism economy. Across Belize only 40% of youth attend secondary school. On the island of Caye Caulker even fewer students advanced because there was no high school until Ocean Academy opened in 2008.Prior to 2008 only 32% of graduates from the one island primary school continued their education. 93% students enrolled in high school in 2012. This year, Ocean Academy saw a 140% new enrollment over last year. 70% of OA graduates go on to Jr. College, well above the national average. Of 34 graduates to date, 3 are working in dive/snorkel shops, 1as an environmental NGO’s boat captain, and 4 are studying tourism or marine biology. As well, 3 current students work after-school with dive/snorkel shops.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Create a Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship that would house the high school, Jr. College specializing in Tourism & Hospitality, Marine Biology, and Teacher Training and be a research and learning lab for social enterprise and place-based education. Each would operate a social enterprise for sustainability: hotel, restaurant, Kayak/Fish/Bike with Purpose tours. We also want to develop a national curriculum and certification program for youth to become National Jr. Tour Guides. We have a campus property in mind for this expansion project (an abandoned waterfront resort).