Two years of study and one year on a Disney ship
The scholarships, one for each of the ships in the Disney fleet, include two years of study at LJM Maritime Academy and one year of service aboard a Disney ship.
'We’re proud to have women in prominent leadership roles across our fleet,' said Yvonne Sweeney, VP human resources, Disney Cruise Line. The line is 'committed to inspiring future female leaders in the maritime industry and this scholarship program is one of many ways we’re delivering on this,' she added. 'It’s truly an honor to recognize these talented young women and make their dreams a reality.'
Academic excellence and aspirations
The cadets were selected based on their academic excellence and aspirations to become captains and shipboard leaders.
Christina Adderley of Eleuthera grew up watching cruise ships in the harbor and was enchanted with the water. She hopes to work as a marine engineer. Adderley said the scholarship has 'catapulted a little island girl into the city ... and beyond,' putting her dreams within reach.
Emily Bain of New Providence became interested in the maritime industry as a teenager. She looks forward to a career as an officer on the bridge because, she said, it is 'a portal into the next dimension where critical thinking and the impossible take place.'
Paula Greene of Grand Bahama has always been eager to explore the high seas. She hopes to work in the deck department as a marine pilot. Greene said one of the things she most looks forward to is experiencing the stories and adventures that take place on a ship — particularly the smiles of happy families and children.
Antoinique Lightbourn of New Providence became fascinated with the sea from childhood boating trips with her father. She hopes to work in the deck department and contribute to navigational safety.
Since 2014, the LJM Maritime Academy has worked to provide local training to future maritime professionals in the Bahamas.
'Our purpose is to help cadets create meaningful paths in the maritime industry, shaping the future of both the industry and our country,' academy President Dr. Brenda Cleare said. 'We’re grateful to Disney for their continued support of the academy and for providing scholarships to these remarkable young women. We’re so proud of these cadets and are excited to see where the future takes them.'
Support for further initiatives
This scholarship program is part of a larger collection of initiatives Disney has implemented to inspire future maritime professionals and support communities across the Bahamas.
Recently the line began supporting the community in Eleuthera, providing funding for holiday events, cultural activities, an after-school program, college visits to Florida by high school students from Eleuthera and more.
An agreement with the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre and the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce is aimed at preparing start-ups and small businesses for participation in development projects under way in Central and South Eleuthera, including Disney’s Lighthouse Point project. The line is providing more than $1m to fund the initiative over three years.
Today, 75% of Disney's cruises make at least one stop in the Bahamas. It is estimated that operations contribute more than $70m to the country's GDP annually.