|GBR offers scholarships for education, tourism|
|Thursday, 22 September 2011 10:09|
While the government struggles to make scholarship funds available to local students, one resort is digging deep to ensure further education in the hospitality industry is made a priority.
Grace Bay Resorts (GBR) have added two new students to their scholarship programme, supporting both staff and the local community college.
The Turks and Caicos Community College added a new bachelor’s degree in hospitality for the 2011-12 academic year, and both Karl Rodney and Deleria Simms are already attending thanks to scholarships from GBR.
“I did not have an opportunity to do this earlier,” said Simms, who has been in human resources with the GBR for almost a decade. “It is also important for me to keep up my skills.”
Simms told the fp that she is grateful for the company’s vote of confidence in selecting her for a two-year scholarship.
Rodney said he is extremely grateful for the opportunity to further his education, hoping to learn new skills and information he can impart to the younger staff throughout the resort. “I want to be an example to my peers,” he said.
GBR Talent Manager Dr. Carlton Mills says the resort identified the two new scholarship recipients from the management staff to further enhance their skills and theoretical knowledge to compliment their practical knowledge.
Each of the students works days and attends the community college courses from 5:30-9:30 p.m. five days a week. A tremendous commitment is required on their part, but the students believe it’s worth it.
“Our goal is to ensure they are trained for the tourism industry,” Mills said, and the staff say they have every intention of living up to those expectations.
Girlie Joseph Ulysse and Telisha Adams just began their second year in the community college’s associate’s degree programme, thanks to scholarships from GBR.
“After working a year in the hotel, I developed a passion for tourism and wanted to start a real career in hospitality,” Adams explained. This enthusiasm was identified by the company’s selection committee, which awards scholarships to employees who show the desire and enthusiasm to grow in the industry.
Ulysse says with family commitments she would never have been able to afford the opportunity to obtain a degree in hospitality, and she will be forever grateful to the GBR for helping her.
GBR now sponsors five full-time scholarship students and two partial scholarship students, and it continues to offer an internship programme for Clement Howell High School students who work several days a week at the resort learning the ins and outs of the trade.
“Education is a priority for us,” Mills explains, as well as enhancing the opportunities for growth in the tourism industry in the TCI.
Photo: (from left) Girlie Joseph Ulysse, Deleria Simms, Karel Rodney and Telisha Adams are all attending the Turks and Caicos Community College, thanks to scholarships from their employer, Grace Bay Resorts.
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