BREEF’s Photojournalism Workshop Inspires Passionate Young Voices for Conservation

Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) hosted an Environmental Journalism workshop for youth at the New Providence Community Centre under the theme, “Young Voices for Conservation”.

Our News Reporter, Marlena Leonard gives an interviewing presentation to students at YRE workshop

Thirty eco-conscious students between the ages of 11-25 participated in a range of hands-on activities geared toward improving their writing, video and photography skills. Participants learned techniques to communicate effectively through storytelling; shedding light on local environmental issues in unique and creative ways. 

The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) event inspired students as they learned through discussions with environmental and media professionals. These experts gave inspiring presentations while showing the young participants how best to communicate authentically in the age of social media and artificial intelligence. 

Eyewitness News Videographer/Photographer Marley “Jayy” Johnson shares insights with YRE Journalism Workshop participants 

Our News Environmental Reporter,  Marlena Leonard, Eyewitness News Photographer, Marley ‘Jayy’ Johnson, Creative Writing Expert, Valene Rolle and BREEF Communications Officer Crystal Darling fully engaged students throughout the day teaching them about the importance of conservation and sustainability.

At the end of the event students crafted their very own environmental campaigns and gave presentations on either Marine Pollution, Loss of Biodiversity or Climate Change. This activity assisted students in organizing their ideas for their entries in the YRE National Competition.

Students practice photo angles with cameras in YRE Journalism Workshop photography activity

C.R. Walker student, 16 year old Jayden Adderley, said she was inspired by the event.

“I mostly liked that we were being interactive with one another, but it was very informative and I had fun learning about current environmental issues that I plan to share with others.”

Another participant, 19 year old Dominic Beneby expressed that as a young aspiring photographer he made it a point to attend the event,

Students participate in outdoor photography YRE Journalism Workshop activity

“Photography drew me into this workshop but I was also able to sharpen and build confidence in my interviewing skills,” he said.

“A Lot of the things were really hands-on and it was so good to get some fresh perspectives from the presenters,” another student, 16 year old Lauren Scriven from Lyford Cay International School said. She continued, “Maybe I’ll start making a difference in my school, maybe I’ll start a blog or add something to our school newsletter to try and inform more students in my school about this because I want to see more of us here.” 

Young Reporters for the Environment Competition Flier

Students explained that they were excited to interact with young professionals in the media and conservation field at the workshop. One of the youthful presenters, Marley “Jay” Johnson from Eyewitness News said,

“You have to connect with the students from where they are.” She continued, “Helping young people to tell their stories through photographs allows them to express themselves creatively and make long-lasting memories capturing perspectives, experiences and emotions.”

Students participate in group activity on environmental storytelling with ImproVibes Creative Educator Valene Rolle

Encouraging young people to speak up about environmental issues is essential, according to BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert. She noted that the youth are the future and will play a crucial role in creating a more sustainable future for the country.

“The Young Reporters for the Environment programme challenges young people to look at the ocean and the land around them, identify threats and solutions,  and think about effective ways of communicating about what’s going on in the world around us to drive positive change,” she said.

Students present group environmental campaign at YRE Journalism Workshop

BREEF runs the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme in The Bahamas. The global programme aims to empower students aged 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and give them a platform to call attention to these issues through the media of writing, photography, or video. There are more than 350,000 young reporters in 47 countries across the world. The deadline for the 2024 Young Reporters for the Environment competition is 14th April. 

The YRE workshop was made possible through the support of the Moore Bahamas Foundation, The Builders Initiative and Primat Foundation. To learn more about BREEF’s Young Reporters for the Environment Programme and its work in promoting the conservation of the Bahamian marine environment, please visit or email

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