Out of the ABMT's volunteer efforts to help fund youth programs grew the tournament committee's desire to launch our Marine Vocational Program (MVP) in order to further provide the youth of the Virgin Islands with a career path into the marine and hospitality industry.
MVP Structural Flow Chart
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See MVP Programs & Read Ezra's Story!
In late December of 2007 the MVP began with modest strides. Scouts (boys and girls) were treated to the inaugural field trip aboard a 76' ocean racing catamaran. They helped pull out the sails, steer the vessel and they dropped anchor on their arrival to the swimming destination. They snorkeled under the watchful eyes of the captain and crew and later during the trip, they responded eagerly to our offer to provide them with scuba diving lessons.
As was promised, we contracted with a local dive operator to provide them with instructions. Importantly on their part, the students committed to a 10 week course held on consecutive weekends. We have since produced many certified divers and several of the MVP's advanced students have become PADI Dive Masters and Instructors. Mission accomplished... they are now capable of earning a living from our tourism industry!
Future Plans for the MVP
The wheels of the MVP turned slowly at first and have since gained momentum - our 'Learn to Swim' and 'Learn to Scuba Dive' programs became the first spokes in the wheel. Plans are to continue developing "fun" activities (sailing, fishing, etc.) as a means to continually "hook" new recruits! We are now serving members of both the Boys and Girls Club and the Boy Scouts of America and plans are to serve other youth organizations in the near future. As the kids grow and begin to focus on their future... we'll offer them (age appropriate) programs that will teach specific skills that are needed for employment in the marine/hospitality industry. It should be noted that our MVP students are being taught by paid professionals in each of the marine fields.
The funding of the MVP has thus far come from the profits of tournaments, our magazine ON THE EDGE> and from private donations.
We invite our readers to help fund the various trainng programs that are offered by the MVP. All donations regardless of size are appreciated and become tax deductable.
The MVP is a Non-Profit, 501 (c-3) Corporation. Donation checks can be made out to: MVP, Inc. . Mail to: 6616 Estate Nadir, St. Thomas, VI 00802. Office telephone: 340-775-9500. Please note "MVP Donation" on your check.