Posted on August 30, 2023

Future hospitality leaders from Monterey Peninsula College and California State University, Monterey Bay awarded over $25,000 in scholarships


Through Monterey County Hospitality Association’s (MCHA) communication tool and outreach, local hospitality students at Monterey Peninsula College(MPC) and the Sustainable Hospitality Management program at California State University, Monterey Bay(CSUMB) were awarded over $25,000 in scholarships by the California Hotel & Lodging Association Hospitality Foundation (CHLAHF).

The CHLAHF combines the efforts of The Hotel & Restaurant Foundation and The CHLA Education Foundation to elevate the profile of the California hospitality industry and provide scholarships and research opportunities to deserving students. A total of $164,000 in scholarships were awarded to 53 students pursuing hospitality, tourism, and culinary arts degrees at 12 esteemed California colleges. The scholarships aim to support excellence among industry employees and hospitality students while promoting the growth and success of the California hospitality industry.

"We, as an industry employing over 1.1 million individuals in California, are dedicated to fostering opportunities for aspiring hoteliers to enter the field and build fulfilling careers," said Michael Pace, the Foundation President and General Manager at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco. "This year's scholarship recipients have demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication, and we are thrilled to use these awards to cultivate the next generation of hospitality leaders, ensuring a prosperous future for the entire California hospitality industry."

MCHA works closely with MPC and CSUMB’s hospitality management programs to encourage and support the next generation of hospitality and tourism leaders. Scholarship opportunities are highlighted on the MCHA website and consistently updated through a partnership with CSUMB hospitality students.

Dr. Paige Viren, Executive Director of the Sustainable Hospitality Management program at California State University, Monterey Bay, expressed her excitement about the scholarship recipients. “In 2022, three Hospitality majors received scholarships and with support of our partners at MCHA the number has more than doubled with seven students selected to receive a combined $23,500 in scholarships,” adds Viren. The deserving recipients are Cierra Verdone, Ivette Olivas, Jasmine Alvarez-Morales, Julian Lopez, Marina Melgar, Carson Meachim, and Nezly Chavez. Plans are in the works for the group to travel to San Francisco to attend the Hospitality Foundation's annual gala on November 2, 2023, at the Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel, to celebrate their well-deserved success.

CSUMB and MPC work together through an on-going “2+2” partnership to promote efficiency and success throughout their scholar’s hospitality education path. Students completing an associate degree in Hospitality at MPC can transfer into the SHM program and earn a bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Hospitality Management in two years.

Among the CHLAHF scholarship recipients is Dy'Esha Sanders, one of Monterey Peninsula College's outstanding Hospitality students. “While working for the Pebble Beach Company, Dy'Esha has shown unwavering dedication and a warm hospitable personality that lights up any room. Despite facing challenges along her journey, she maintains a contagious positive attitude and outlook,” notes Molly Jansen, Hospitality Department Head and Instructor, Dy'Esha plans to transfer to a four-year institution to earn her Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management.

Additional CHLAHF scholarship recipients include students from San Diego State University, University of San Francisco, San Jose State, Cal Poly Pomona, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, California State University Long Beach, California State University East Bay, and Sacramento State University.