BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- A total of 15 Caribbean nationals are gaining a boost to their academic and professional pursuits with support from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s scholarship programme, the CTO Foundation.
The Foundation has awarded over US$40,000 in scholarship and grants in 2013 to students from ten CTO member countries -- Barbados, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia.
A funding resource for tourism and hospitality career development, educational programmes and lifelong learning, the CTO Foundation supports Caribbean nationals who are committed to a career in tourism and hospitality by providing financial assistance to support their education and professional development at the certificate, diploma, associates, first degree, Master’s (post graduate) levels, as well as language training for persons already working in the tourism sector.
"We at the CTO have recognized that it is becoming increasingly difficult for persons wanting to further their studies to access the necessary resources to do so," commented Bonita Morgan, the CTO director responsible for regional human resource development and who serves as the Foundation’s secretary. "The Foundation is very pleased that it is able to give continuous support to individuals who are well-deserving of the kind of assistance needed to help further themselves academically and professionally."
Scholarships of up to US$7,600 were awarded to three students pursuing studies in tourism and hospitality management at the Masters level, nine students received study grants of up to US$2000 each, while one received just over US$2,100 through a special scholarship in the name of the late Audrey Palmer Hawks, the former director general of the Caribbean Tourism Association, the precursor to the CTO.
"The Foundation seeks persons who are well-rounded," Morgan said. "We particularly look for those who have demonstrated their brilliance not only in a classroom setting but also in extra-curricular activities outside of the formal learning environment. This element we believe forms an essential part in deciding which applicants will be selected for the scholarship awards.”
It is important to note, she stated, that the recipients have a diverse background of study areas and that the scholarship awards were not limited to core tourism and hospitality programmes.
“We were keen on supporting study areas such as language training and marketing which are important courses that can be effectively used within the tourism field," Morgan explained.
From its inception in 1997, the CTO Foundation has provided more than US$760,000 in scholarships to over 200 deserving Caribbean nationals. The CTO Foundation is registered in New York State as a Not-for-Profit Corporation, formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Its main aim is to provide scholarships and study grants to students and industry personnel who are Caribbean nationals, from CTO-member countries, who wish to pursue studies in the areas of tourism and hospitality and language training.
The 2013 scholarship and study grant recipients are:
Shamma Phillipe-Harris, St Lucia - (MSc, Tourism Management, New York University, New York)
Marsha Banton, Jamaica - (MSc, Tourism and Hospitality Management, UWI, Jamaica
Isabelle Liméa, Martinique - (MSc, Tourism Management, Marne-la-vallée University, France)
Aletha Connely, Guyana - (MSc. Tourism and Hospitality Management, UWI, Barbados)
Audrey Palmer Hawks Memorial Scholarship
Kerwin Hinson, St Vincent - CCertificate, Professional Marketing, Professional Institute of Marketing & Business Studies (PIMBS), Trinidad)
Almer Lawrence, Dominica - (BBA, Hospitality Management, Monroe College, St Lucia)
Jodi Harvey-Reid - (BA, Hospitality and Tourism Management, University College Birmingham, UK)
Donavaria Russell-Duncombe, The Bahamas - (Certificate, Spanish, Universidad de la Habana, Cuba)
Vernelle Samuel, Dominica - (BBA Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Johnson & Wales, Miami)
Roger Skinner, Barbados - (Language training, Barbados Community College, Barbados)
Jillian Roberts, The Bahamas - (Certificate, Art of Fruit and Vegetable carving, Siam Carving Academy, Thailand)
Allison Caton, Grenada - (Certificate, Tourism Destination Management, George Washington University, Washington, DC)
Jovari Hagley, Grenada - (BSc, Hospitality and Tourism Management, UWI, Trinidad)
Tiffany Sanchez, Bermuda - (BSc, Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Johnson & Wales, Rhode Island)
Shama St Hilaire, Dominica - (BSc, Hospitality Management, Monroe College, New York)