The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is hosting three (3) new university level interns for the summer as a part of its annual Apprentice Programme.

This year’s apprentices are Ms. Maryellen Keegan from the University of Portsmouth, Hampshire England; Ms. Dijuana Penn attending Missouri Southern State University and Mr. Keon August of the University of Central Florida, USA.

Ms. Keegan is enrolled in the Crisis and Disaster Management Program in Portsmouth where she is completing her Masters of Science.

Her research during her internship will focus on the understanding of how schools in the BVI have recovered following the 2017 disasters and how education continuity is playing into the recovery process; while exploring other areas that can be strengthened in new technology and finding feasible ways of deploying alternative education methods.

Intern Ms. Dijuana Penn is attending Missouri Southern State University where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Her tasks at the department involve assisting with the training of individuals from a number of sectors.

Civil Engineering student Mr. Keon August is working to complete his Bachelor of Science degree. He is assigned to the Early Warning and Emergency Communications Systems Development Programme. He will assist with the restoration and rebuilding of the system which includes various networks such as sirens, weather stations, smart radios and communications and emergency broadbands. Additionally, he is also tasked with performing GIS mapping of key systems.

Meanwhile, Director Sharleen DaBreo MBE, said her department has a fully established apprentice programme available to give opportunities to students. She said the department has been accepting college interns through a formal programme as far back as 2002 and that the arrangements are beneficial.

Ms. DaBreo said, “They are a crucial part of plans for growth and improved productivity within the department. They work alongside qualified and very talented staff within the department and are able to tailor activities to suit their areas of study. We are particularly pleased to have all three students join the team especially at a time where we need the human resources support.”

The students have expressed satisfaction with their placement in the department and are looking forward to gaining knowledgeable experiences through their internship.

[Photo: from left to right, Ms. Maryellen Keegan, Ms. Dijuana Penn, Mr. Keon August]