BESS Alumni Spotlight: Jason Petty

Jason leading a group of kids during a field study.
Jason tagging turtle with the Bahamas Sea Turtle Tagging Network.

When Jason Petty first arrived at BREEF in 2017, he was a nervous wreck. Moving from Grand Bahama to New Providence was very scary but he was excited to be a part of the Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholarship (BESS) programme and his eagerness to learn stood out.

“For as long as I can remember I have had a deep interest and connection with the ocean,” said Jason. He spent the first part of his BESS year with The Island School and the latter part interning with BREEF.

“The BESS programme was one of the greatest decisions I have made thus far,” said Jason. “I was exposed to other cultures and ways of thinking unlike any that I have experienced before.”

Jason measuring the lip thickness of a Queen Conch in the field.

Throughout the year, Jason conducted research on Queen Conch populations alongside The Cape Eleuthera Institute and The SHEDD Aquarium. During his time with BREEF, Jason assisted our team with sea camp, marine presentations, and field studies. We watched as his life skills and passion for marine life grew stronger and stronger. Our staff also had the privilege of watching Jason excel in things that once challenged him. 

Jason taking the icon Island School leap off of High Rock.
Jason and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) colleagues

“I was terrified of public speaking at first but as time went on I became more comfortable with it,” said Jason. “Giving these presentations allowed me to display my true personality and gave me the confidence to ace my interview with my current organization.”

Jason is currently working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is an Emergency Medical Technician at Doctors Hospital in New Providence. In his spare time, he continues to volunteer with BREEF, especially during our field studies block. He is always ready and willing to answer questions from new BESS interns. 

“There was no part of my BESS experience that I would trade,” said Jason. “Now I have tools for life and every day I try to be an advocate not just for the ocean but for the environment.”

The BREEF Team is very proud of Jason and wishes him continued success in all of his future endeavours! 

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