Three Barbadians are among 24 Caribbean nationals to gain 2013 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Fund Professional Development scholarships.
They are Deidre Small, Lisa Howard and Christine Gibson, who were presented with their scholarships at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s Annual General Meeting recently.
Small and Howard won the Virgin Holidays IT Special Award and the Special Study Award respectively, while Gibson is the recipient of the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Award.
Small, who recently completed her first year at the Johnson and Wales University in Miami, will continue her studies there; while Howard will also continue studies at Columbia University in New York. Gibson’s scholarship will go towards studies at the Barbados Community College.
Sue Springer, the BHTA’s executive vice-president, thanked the sponsors of this year’s awards on behalf of the CHTAEF and explained that this year’s 24 scholarships and grants were valued at over US$150 000.
“The CHTAEF presently administers one of the largest scholarship programmes available in the hospitality industry in the Caribbean. Without the sponsorship and support from corporate entities like First Caribbean CIBC and Virgin Holidays, these young people would not have the opportunity to improve themselves and bring quality and professionalism to this industry,” Springer said.
Virgin Holidays’ destination manager, Caroline Gallichan, speaking on behalf of the company’s managing director Amanda Wills, noted that they were delighted to support the CHTAEF programme for the 9th consecutive year.
“It is crucial for us as an industry to invest in young people and reward hard work and determination by creating opportunities for our future tourism leaders,” she said.
“Over the years it has been a privilege to see so many talented and passionate young people achieve their goals and we look forward to the success of our 2013 scholars and the continued positive impact on the region by our past scholars.”
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s managing director of the Barbados Strategic Business Unit, Donna Wellington, explained that her organisation was also very proud to partner with the CHTAEF.
“To date we have invested approximately US$70 000 in funding these scholarships for applicants who have shown immense potential and commitment,” Wellington said.
“We see our investment in the CHTEAF over the past seven years as critical to the development of the careers of these young people seeking further educational opportunities in the tourism sector.”
The CHTAEF was established in 1987 as an independent nonprofit organisation which awards scholarships and special assistance grants to Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry personnel and to students pursuing hotel careers in hospitality and tourism to further their education.