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Maya Angelou Public Charter School Mentorship Breakfast

"What soft skills do you have that make the biggest impact?” – Kayia Lewis

“What do you call a successful day at your job?” – Antonio Newton

“How has the COVID crisis made you a better person?” – Anthony Headspeath

These are just some of the questions that students from Maya Angelou Public Charter School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism asked hospitality industry leaders over breakfast on February 17. Hosted at the AC Hotel Washington DC Downtown, students heard personal and professional insights on careers in management, sales, human resources, and tourism.  

Thank you to our mentors for your candor and stories:

  • Elliott L. Ferguson II, President & CEO, Destination DC
  • Tiffany Elum, National Account Director, Destination DC
  • Ben Deane, Dual General Manager, AC Hotel Washington DC Downtown and Hampton Inn White House
  • Martha Valenzuela, Dual Director of Sales, AC Hotel Washington DC Downtown and Hampton Inn White House
  • Nathalie Caillon Rytting, Director of Human Resources, Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
  • Maria Skrobacz, Human Resources Manager, Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
A group of students stand in front of the Capital One Arena preparing to watch the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship

The Atlantic 10 Conference Prepares Students for Careers in Sports 

Thank you to our friends at the Atlantic 10 for helping AEF invite 150 students from Coolidge, Maya Angelou [pictured above] and Jackson-Reed high schools to the A10 Conference Men’s Basketball Championship on March 10th.

The fun doesn't stop there! From venue management to sports journalism, on April 20 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. AEF and the Atlantic 10 will host a virtual panel discussion on how these amazing individuals prepared themselves – in high school, college and professionally – for a successful long-term career in sports. Students will learn about the diverse array of careers available in the sports industry and the paths to get there!

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Students at their internships

Career Bridge Internships in Full Swing 

A long career in the hotel industry starts with the first step. This month, DCPS seniors in the eight-week Career Bridge Internship Program joined teams at three Washington, DC hotels to learn how a hotel runs smoothly - from sales tactics and back of house operations to front desk support. Supported by the American Experience Foundation, AEF will host a weekly one-hour skill building workshop that includes professional communication, networking and resume building.

Thank you to our partners and host employers: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill; AC Hotel Washington DC Downtown and Hyatt Place National Mall. 

Nana Sissoko - AEF AIP intern - against a brick background

AIP Intern Spotlight: Nana Sissoko 

AEF and Destination DC welcome Nana Sissoko, from Jackson-Reed [Wilson] High School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism to the team this spring through the Career and Technical Advanced Internship Program (AIP). She is working with the Partnerships & Alliances team on data analysis and management.

“The hospitality industry interests me because of its broad nature. It can be found in many sectors of work, which allows for endless career opportunities. I am extremely excited to gain experience and insights into the industry with the help of AEF and Destination DC.” – Nana Sissoko

The AIP program is part of a larger mayoral workforce development investment that places eligible high school seniors into paid and credit-bearing internship opportunities in fields they hope to pursue. 

Thank you to our friends hosting Hospitality and Tourism Advanced Interns this semester: International Spy Museum, Mangia DC Food Tours and Academic Travel Abroad. 

Want to learn how you can host an AIP intern this fall? Contact Lisa Waldschmitt, Senior Foundation Manager.

Read More About Nana

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