Service-learning trip to Nassau, Bahamas
meaningful experience for honors cohort students

Winter break was a time for service-learning and fun in the sun for some Fisher Honors Cohort students. Twenty-four students from the program accompanied by their advisor and a graduate assistant traveled to Nassau, Bahamas to teach Junior Achievement to elementary school students.

Throughout the academic year, cohort students teach in local Columbus schools in partnership with Junior Achievement of Central Ohio. Junior Achievement is a worldwide non-profit organization of volunteers who teach fundamental business concepts such as basic financial literacy and entrepreneurship in elementary and high schools.

“This was an educational experience due to the drastic difference among youth in the Bahamas and in Columbus,” said Rachel Jordan, a senior majoring in marketing.

According to Nancy Lahmers, Honors Cohorts program advisor, the Fisher students taught second- and third-grade Junior Achievement materials, that covered the themes “our community” and “our city” to children in disadvantaged schools in Nassau. The exercises assigned to the young students included constructing paper buildings, mapping out cities, writing newspaper articles, developing plans for a dining business and examining the roles of banks in the economy.

According to graduate assistant Ty Shepfer, Fisher students utilized the week-long trip to broaden their global perspective and to study a developing economy. The cohorts were given a tour of Providence Island businesses, neighborhoods and developments by a local entrepreneur.

“Visiting the Bahamas exposed me and my colleagues to poverty abroad,” Jordan said. “It served as a reminder of how fortunate we are and how there is need all over the world.”

Additionally, the Fisher group met with faculty and staff at the College of the Bahamas to discuss a potential exchange program between the two institutions. “We met with the vice president of academic affairs at the College of the Bahamas to learn about their business program, growth plans and job opportunities,” Lahmers said.

Fisher students also met with officials from the Bahamas Ministry of Education, which administers Junior Achievement on the islands. The week-long trip culminated with a reception hosted by Felix Stubbs, Junior Achievement Bahamas chairman and managing director of IBM Bahamas Ltd. He presented the cohorts with certificates for their efforts.

This is the second year Honors Cohort students expanded their service efforts internationally by traveling to the Bahamas during winter break.