YOUNG ANTIGUAN RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP FROM VIRGIN HOLIDAYS & CHTAEFFriday 16th August 2013
Virgin Holidays & the CHTA Education Foundation (CHTAEF) awarded Kerissa Henry with their special scholarship targeting young Antiguan and Barbudans to study Resort Management at an Associates Degree level.
Virgin Holidays Antigua Country Manager, Karen Budd, commented “Virgin Holidays believes in growing the talent in our destinations and supporting local institutions and organizations. Our Special Antigua Scholarship is as a result of the Virgin Holidays Antigua team hosting a global company event and raising scholarship money & partnering with CHTAEF. We are delighted to promote the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute through this Scholarship and look forward to creating a new Virgin Holidays Environmental/Sustainable Tourism module to be taught to all Resort Management Students during the upcoming academic year. More details on that after Christmas!”
Karen Budd congratulated Kerissa Henry saying ‘As the UK’s largest Tour Operator to the Caribbean, Antigua is one of our top destinations and we are thrilled to award Kerissa this scholarship as she exemplifies the Virgin Personality! She is passionate about the Tourism Industry and has not let lack of academic achievements stand in her way thus far; Kerissa has followed a clear pathway in the industry over ten years and through her flexibility, willingness to take on new challenges, work the hours and focus on delivering guest satisfaction to achieve Team Leader status. Now it is time for proven theoretical learning to compliment her ability and allow her to continue to high levels of management. Virgin Holidays Antigua looks forward to working with Kerissa as she becomes our Ambassador over the next 2-years.”
Kerissa Henry began her career as a trainee at Hawksbill Hotel and later was part of the opening staff for Carlisle Bay Resort where the General Manager, Alistair Forrest, spotted her potential and encouraged her to be flexible, open-minded and try to learn the operational standards in each department she was placed … from Spa Cleaner to Spa Receptionist, IT Assistant to Front Desk Assistant – in each position she focused on guests and delivering Exquisite Service. Kerissa commented ”I took advantage of any training opportunities available to me and continue to actively pursue professional development training as it keeps me fresh, adds to my operational knowledge and skills and allows me to pass-on what I have lerned to the teams I work with and lead”.
Kerissa is now the Reservations and Front Office Team Leader at Coco’s Antigua where owner, Andrew Michelin, commented “her flexibility, positive attitude and absolute belief in Antigua and Coco’s has made Kerissa a huge asset to the company. In addition to her duties at the resort we trust her to represent the property at worldwide trade fairs promoting our property and the wonderful destination that is Antigua & Barbuda”.
Kerissa cried tears of joy and delight upon hearing she had been successful in her application and said “ I can’t wait to be the CHTAEF-Virgin Holidays Antigua Ambassador - I hope my story will encourage and motivate all young Antiguan and Barbudans to follow their dreams, work hard, be open-minded and know they too can achieve academic success though maybe like me, not via the traditional ‘school to college’ route. I believe learning on-the-job is immensely valuable as it matures you as a person and allows you to contribute to the national economy from a very young age. I promise to make Virgin Holidays, CHTAEF and my country proud”.
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