Nine years later, BESS alumni Trueranda Cox still remembers the moment she learned that she was accepted into the BESS programme.
“I was extremely happy – I probably smiled for a week nonstop.” Trueranda said.
Trueranda’s enthusiasm was seen and felt in everything she was asked to do. From research projects to helping with sea camp and even now when BESS students reach out to her, she is ready and willing to assist.
“Looking back on every research trip that I had the opportunity to go on, I am in awe that at 17 years old I was able to contribute to real world science in rooms filled with scientists both local and international,” Trueranda said
Trueranda now runs Ultimate Tours Bahamas, an eco-tour and activity company that highlights Bahamian culture, history and the environment. She credits the opportunities experienced during the BESS programme for the path she is currently on.
“The network of people I have been exposed to during this programme [the BESS programme] is probably one of my greatest assets so far in my career. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I did not have the chance to be exposed at such a young age,” Trueranda said.
This is not the only thing Trueranda gained during her time in the programme.
“The BESS programme has challenged me to be more of a critical thinker. Critical thinking skills are crucial in developing a problem-solving mindset and once you can approach every challenge or obstacle with a problem-solving mindset, I think you may have found the secret to a happy life,” she said.
Trueranda shares this piece of advice to current and future BESS scholars.
“Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you through the programme. The skills and network you will gain is priceless. You will be light years ahead of your peers if you do.”