As residents of a Caribbean nation made up of more than 700 islands southeast of Florida, many Bahamians are acutely aware of the importance of understanding and protecting the environment. Among them is Save The Bays (STB), an international non-profit united by a commitment to preserve and protect that environment through proactive policy change, education, legal action, and advocacy. And we’re happy to be a part of that effort.

STB believes it is essential that young people are strategically engaged as leaders, architects, and change agents in the environmental and economic landscape. As the future leaders of the Bahamas, it’s imperative that young adults are equipped with the skills, tools, and support they need to play an active role in reshaping environmental policies.

STB’s Youth Ambassadors Program was designed to meet pressing economic and environmental challenges by cultivating young leaders who understand the current crisis and can advocate for policy changes that would benefit the country. That’s why STB piloted an environmental leadership program in 2014 with 24 participants using our Early Leadership Toolkit.

The toolkit is set of curriculum and tools full of dynamic experiential learning exercises and thought-provoking discussion questions for educators to use in leadership development programs for youth by exploring topics like empathy, conflict management, communication, active listening, social identity, goal setting, time management, and more. We know that young people need parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, and leaders for support and guidance. The toolkit is designed to challenge and empower young people to become better leaders and people as a whole.

STB’s goal for this partnership was to enhance the leadership development component of its Youth Ambassadors Program. In 2015, with funds from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), we implemented an Early Leadership Train-the-Trainer program using the toolkit to further empower the cohort of young adults and Bahamian leaders as they advocate for environmental protection and preservation.

Facilitators Sharon Glover — a native Bahamian and CCL adjunct faculty member — and CCL’s Laura Weber spent 3 days in the Bahamas working with locals, enhancing their facilitation skills to implement the Early Leadership Toolkit. This Train-the-Trainer program provides firsthand experience on the tool’s various uses and graduated 16 participants who are now certified leadership facilitators on the ground. Even though they only spent a couple days there, the cascading effect of equipping local facilitators — combined with the Early Leadership Toolkit — means that their contribution can lead to lasting change for Save the Bays and the Bahamian environment well into the future.

Learn more about the Early Leadership Toolkit, complete with outlines and content on 20 different leadership topics, and our other innovative leadership solutions and facilitation tools.

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