Ten students at Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute have each been awarded a US $500 grant, from the Mill Reef Club, to be credited to their tuition accounts at the institute.
On receiving the good news, the students’ excitement and shock, in some cases, was palpable.
“I am extremely elated about being a recipient of this award. This comes as a surprise and at a time when I am currently unemployed. This will go a very long way and I am very thankful,” remarked Student Government President and second-year food and beverage management student, Nolanda Frederick.
Echoing similar sentiments was Telisha Keelan. “This is awesome! And it will really help me. I don’t even know what to say. It’s great, because due to the pandemic I have not been able to raise all of the funds required, so I am really grateful,” the year two resort management student said.
Also receiving a grant was Julius JnoBaptiste, the only male among the ten. JnoBaptiste was very happy and remarked that he too was “very thankful for the award especially during these difficult financial times.”
Another student, Faith Richards, was so elated that she exclaimed: “I’m so happy! Wow! Thank you so much!”
The other recipients are Cheriah Charles, Kiana Marajah, Jessica Ryan, Yoneta Rodney, Latoya Edwards, and Nia Benjamin.
Executive Director of the Institute Ruthlyn Matthias expressed the value and importance of such a grant to the recipients. She mentioned that since the pandemic forced the nation into lockdown in March of 2020, and thrust schools into online instruction, many students and parents have experienced a financial setback.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic many people have been affected financially. Parents and students are no exception to this. A number of our students are adults, who work in the industry to pay their own way and have not been working for an extended period. In addition, many parents, some employed in the hospitality sector, have also been experiencing difficulty meeting tuition obligations,” Matthias noted.
“This award came at the most appropriate time and our students are extremely grateful. We are very appreciative of all that the Mill Reef Club has done to ensure that our students continue on their path at the ABHTI during these uncertain times,” she added.
Matthias also mentioned that the Mill Reef Club has exhibited great philanthropy through this venture, and that the ABHTI hopes to continue working with the club on future projects.