SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – K1 Britannia Foundation and the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) construction students have recently been invited to tour Holland America Line’s MS Koningsdam vessel. Holland America Line (HAL) is one of the biggest sponsors for the K1-NIPA construction course and the sponsors chose to host the youth of St. Maarten along with K1 staff onboard for a special luncheon.
In January, twenty local youth have started a six-month carpentry course, which will allow them to obtain an international certification from MIC Institution of Technology. The course is made possible through K1 Britannia Foundation’s Second Chance Program in partnership with the National Institute for Professional Advancement. Holland America Line chose to invest in St. Maarten’s educational opportunities for youth through the carpentry course. Consequently, Holland America Line wanted to give the students a special experience to connect to them as sponsors.
Fifteen Second Chance students, MIC Instructor Fleville Tinto, K1 Co-Founder Priya Thirumur, Second Chance Program Managers Malaika Richards, Alan Schet and Administrator Chiaira Bowers were hosted by Mr. Tanberg Dsouza, Restaurant Operations Manager. MS Koningsdam is a Dutch Cruise Ship operated by Holland America Line. Koningsdam is the class leader of HAL’s pinnacle class ships. It is by far the largest ship ever to be constructed for Holland America Line, which is currently three years old. During the three-hour tour, invitees visited the Grand Dutch Café, Culinary Arts Center, Art Gallery, Sauna, and various dining rooms. Mr. Dsouza shared a brief history and facts of the ship and the students were engaged and quick to point out interesting wooden architecture and art on board. The tour ended with a grand lunch buffet at the Lido Market.
Jeremy Hodge, one of the NIPA students mentioned, “It feels great to know that Holland America Line gave us this opportunity to pursue our goal in carpentry. I personally really appreciate it a lot because most of us could have been somewhere different during these six months, whether it was somewhere good or bad. I am grateful to be on this journey for the better.”
The students have three months left to complete their course and receive their certification. Malaika Richards, K1 Second Chance Program Manager, stated “It is always a pleasure to visit the youth at NIPA. They are engaged, developing in skill and growing tremendously as young adults. They demonstrate leadership and discipline in their craft. The students were grateful that HAL invested in their futures and the opportunity to visit the ship. They intend to make the most of their experience by continuing in the advanced levels for carpentry and other have opted to entering the field and growing to own their own business. We will continue to support their ambitions.”