The Lyford Cay Foundation and the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB) today unveiled an historic partnership linking the nation’s largest provider of scholarships with its most influential promotion board and netting two major scholarships in tourism leadership.
The scholarships – each valued at up to $25,000 per year – are believed to be the first of their kind, preparing promising industry professionals to move into critical industry leadership positions. Applicants must be accepted into an accredited university with a tourism or hospitality management program either at the undergraduate or graduate level. The award is renewable will continue so long as the recipient maintains the required grade point average and will allow two students to study at a time for the duration of the program.
“The Bahamian people are essential tour guests’ vacation experience and the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board recognizes the unique position we hold to help shape the lives of our biggest asset,” said NPIPB CEO Joy Jibrilu. “As the first Bahamian to hold the position of CEO, it is a great honor to partner with the Lyford Cay Foundation to provide these two scholarships in tourism leadership. We look forward to witnessing the impact these future recipients have on the tourism sector in The Bahamas and beyond.”
As the largest private funder of scholarships, Lyford Cay Foundations has invested more than $50 million in Bahamian students and non-profits since its founding in 1969. Despite the fact that more than 3,000 students have gone to college with a Foundation scholarship, this is the first time that the not-for-profit organization has laser-focused its attention on tourism management, vision and leadership, according to long-time Foundation board member Judith Whitehead who was representing Chairman Basil Goulandris.
“This is the first tourism leadership scholarship to be offered by the Foundation and we are delighted to partner with an organization which represents the leading hoteliers and business minds in the tourism sector,” said Mrs. Whitehead, who credited tourism with transforming the economy.
“We all know how important the tourism sector is for The Bahamas…We enjoy one of the highest per capita incomes and qualities of life in the region,” she noted. “Through tourism, many Bahamians have achieved significant mobility in their careers. Many have spent time abroad, worked in global properties and come back home to ascend to management positions. However, we know that many more need these opportunities, and we hope that by helping tourism scholars achieve higher education in competitive, globally recognized tourism programs they will be better prepared to lead the way.”
Lyford Cay Foundation Executive Director Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle said the Foundation was honoured to be selected by the promotion board to receive the gift. “We fully recognize the importance of providing leaders in our most important economic engine with the tools that will help them make the best decisions whether in banner times or unforeseeable crisis,” said Dr. Virgill-Rolle. “Access to higher education at competitive schools combined with access to internships and mentoring will prepare citizens and residents for the top posts in the tourism and hospitality sectors.”
Each year, the Foundations provide some 35-40 new scholarships and among the thousands who have graduated thanks to the financial assistance from the Foundations, the majority were the first in their family to attend college. Today’s announcement came during a press conference at the Templeton Building.
What began as a casual comment about the need to fund tourism leadership education between two women who understand the responsibilities and importance of leadership, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board CEO Joy Jibrilu, left, and Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Lyford Cay Foundation Executive Director, standing, today culminated in the signing of an agreement for a 5-year $250,000 scholarship for undergrad or graduate work with two scholarships to be awarded annually. Pictured seated right, Judith Whitehead, long-time Foundation executive board member representing Chairman Basil Goulandris. (Cay Focus Photography for DP&A)