MIAMI, Florida – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) is teaming up with Johnson & Wales University to support one of its most promising students.
Savion Bethell, a junior at the Rhode Island-based institution who hails from The Bahamas, is the recipient of two $5,000 scholarships, funded equally by the CHTAEF and Johnson & Wales.
Bethell, aged 20, is from the Abaco Islands, which were devastated in 2019 by Hurricane Dorian, the most powerful storm on record to ever hit the island country.
When Dorian hit, the Bethell family lost everything. The Category 5 hurricane destroyed Bethell’s home and the school where his mother taught, leaving her without a job and the family without a place to live.
In the wake of the historic storm, CHTAEF immediately began a fundraising initiative to support schoolchildren in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, the hardest-hit areas in the 700-island archipelago. The Foundation raised more than US$35,000, some of which has been put toward Bethell’s scholarship.
“Savion embodies the passion for responsible Caribbean tourism that our foundation is built on, and we are delighted to support his education as he works toward his dream of advancing the sector in The Bahamas,” said CHTAEF chairman Karolin Troubetzkoy, who is also a renowned hotelier and serves as executive director of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts in St. Lucia.
“We are proud to partner with the CHTA Education Foundation to support Savion Bethell who has consistently demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and who has provided excellent leadership in supporting our past efforts at assisting The Bahamas during times of need such as during the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. We wish him continued success in his professional endeavors,” said Larry A. Rice, President of Johnson & Wales University North Miami Campus.
Despite the setbacks his family has faced, Bethell, who is working toward a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality & Tourism Management, has maintained strong grades and kept his sights set on his goals. He is passionate about the tourism industry in his island home and has high aspirations for his life after he graduates.
Upon completion of his studies, he plans to delve into local politics in The Bahamas and pursue employment in the Ministry of Tourism, with the ultimate goal of serving as Minister of Tourism. He says crafting policy is what he’s most interested in, and his vision includes inputting strategic tourism initiatives to give The Bahamas an increased edge in the region. He also intends to complete a master’s degree in the near future.
CHTAEF was established in 1986 as an independent nonprofit offering tax-exempt status for donations. As part of its mission, CHTAEF provides people throughout the Caribbean region with an awareness of the varied career opportunities in the industry, as well as technical and professional development through scholarships, special assistance initiatives and other training programs.
Today, CHTAEF volunteer trustees administer one of the largest scholarship programs available in the Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry. Funds for these scholarships and grants are generated from corporate sponsorships, benefit auctions and special events. The foundation also encourages the co-sponsorship of scholarships through companies that do business with the Caribbean, national hotel associations and individual resorts.