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Revamped Caribbean Tourism Organization’s scholarship program has new name

Revamped Caribbean Tourism Organization’s scholarship program has new name

Having this year expanded the areas of study for which it would provide financial support, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s education charity now has a new name.

The CTO Foundation, launched in 1989 to assist Caribbean nationals pursuing further studies in tourism/hospitality and language, is now officially the CTO Scholarship Foundation.

“We renamed the foundation to clarify its purpose in the public eye so that everyone will understand that the goal of the foundation is to provide scholarships to Caribbean nationals who are seeking to advance themselves in the various fields associated with tourism in the Caribbean,” said Sylma Brown, director of CTO USA Inc and the foundation’s treasurer.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation is a 501(C)3 approved charity in the United States and “we wanted to ensure that potential donors knew that contributions are tax deductible under U.S. IRS laws,” Brown added.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation has the expressed aim of training and developing future leaders for the Caribbean tourism industry by funding studies in tourism and tourism-related subjects, hospitality and language. Since its inception, the foundation has generated over US$1 million in scholarship funds and has provided over 280 grants and scholarships. The money spent thus far has been raised from various fundraising efforts and through the very generous support of a few major corporations.

All money generated through fundraising is used for scholarships. The foundation is managed by a board of directors, comprising private and public sector individuals, who dedicate their time and talent to support and guide the charity’s efforts.

“We have been providing study grants and scholarships for more than 20 years and are very proud that the CTO Scholarship Foundation has made a difference in the lives of many Caribbean youth and working professionals and their respective families,” said Jacqueline Johnson, CTC, chairperson of the CTO Scholarship Foundation and president of Global Bridal Group.

“As we further the education of Caribbean nationals in the tourism industry we equip them to lead their countries to greater prosperity in the future as tourism is the leading driver of foreign exchange in the region,” Johnson said, adding: “There is nothing more important that one can do today than prepare for tomorrow.”

In order to provide more opportunities for Caribbean nationals pursuing higher education and careers in the tourism industry, the foundation enhanced and expanded its programme earlier this year by introducing scholarships of up to $5000 in public relations and communications; tourism education and human resources development; hotel, resort, and villa development, design and planning; and aviation and air transport technologies. A master’s degree scholarship of no less than US$5,000 is also being offered for studies in tourism-related disciplines, including language, agriculture, fisheries, horticulture, event management, interior design, medical tourism, architecture, sports, culture and heritage, environmental protection and preservation, while study grants of US$2500 are being offered to those seeking to improve their skills in any tourism-related field of study.