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American Experience Foundation News

American Experience Foundation Backyard Bound Field Trip in Washington, DC

May 16-17, 2018- AEF’s Rite of Passage field trip welcomed 11 students and 2 chaperones from the Indian River Middle School in Canaan, New Hampshire. The trip emphasized historic DC sites like the Frederick Douglass House, the US Capitol, and the National Mall.  Other trip highlights included stops at the National Air and Space Museum, Newseum, the International Spy Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery to see the new presidential portraits. Special thanks to our partners at Old Town Trolley Tours for their support of this field trip.

April 25- AEF and other local hospitality employers interviewed students from the four DC Academies of Hospitality and Tourism to prepare for the Career Ready Internship program, a 6-week summer internship program organized by the DC Career Academy Network and DC Public Schools.There is no cost to the employer to participate, so if you would like to host a student, please contact chloe.jordan [at] (Chloe Jordan) at DC Career Academy Network.

April 24- The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse hosted Charity Off The Hook, their annual fundraiser which highlights some of the best seafood chefs in the city and raises money for local charities. This year, AEF was proud to be one of these charities! A special thank you to Greg Casten for his continuing support of the Foundation.

April 8, 2018- AEF welcomed 75 students from Charles Hart Middle School (Washington, DC) to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a behind the scenes look at the iconic building. Later, the students watched the documentary “Pandas” at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater. A special thanks goes to Karen at Smithsonian Enterprises and our insightful guides at the Kennedy Center.

March 8, 2018- AEF and 40 students from the DC Academies of Hospitality of Tourism attended a behind the scenes look at the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Men’s Basketball Championship. Keith Gill, the A-10 Executive Associate Commissioner, gave the students a tour of the Capital One Arena and answered the students’ questions about sports tourism. After the tour, the students volunteered handing out A-10 t-shirts and watched VCU and Dayton battle it out on the court. This experience was made possible by Keith Gill and the Atlantic 10 Conference.

March 7, 2018 - Profish and Ivy City Smokehouse welcomed AEF and 26 students from Wilson High School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. Special thanks to Greg Casten, President of Oceanpro Industries, who gave the students a tour of their seafood distribution plant, discussed the ins and outs of seafood and the restaurant business, and joined them for lunch at the Smokehouse.

February 22, 2018  - AEF and the Atlantic 10 Conference welcomed 40 students from all four of DC's Academies of Hospitality and Tourism to George Washington University for an educational panel focusing on careers in athletics and hospitality. Our panelists included: Brad Edwards, Director of Athletics for George Mason University; Lawrence Hamm, Sports Tourism Manager for Destination DC; Mark Hyman, Professor of Management and Tourism Studies at George Washington University; and Tanya Vogel, Acting Director of Athletics for George Washington University and it was moderated by Keith Gill, Executive Associate Commissioner for the Atlantic 10 Conference. Thank you to our partners at Roti Modern Mediterranean for lunch. Make sure to catch all the action of the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament here in Washington, DC in March!

February 16, 2018 - The Capitol Hill Volleyball Destination DC Member Tournament welcomed 120 participants and raised over $4,000 to support AEF! Special thanks to the Mizuno Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic for opening their courts to host us on the eve of their annual tournament.  Congratulations to: First Place – Reston Roadrunners [Reston Limousine]; Second Place – CSI Warriors [CSI Washington DC]; Third Place – Events DC Strikers; Most Team Spirit Award – CSI Warriors; and Biggest Donors to AEF - Big Bus Tours DC. Thank you to all of our participants and our event partners, Events DC, Centerplate, District Doughnut, District Distilling Co., City Tap House, VIDA Fitness, and Pivotal Moments.

February 8, 2018 - Our Backyard Bound program welcomed students from the Foundation School of Prince George's County for a day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Special thanks to Old Town Trolley Tours for arranging transportation to and from the museum.

February 2, 2018 - AEF and Destination DC welcomed Ziporia Irick, Dijon Kerns and Amya McKoy, juniors at Ballou High School's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism program, to our offices for National Job Shadow Day! Ziporia, Dijon, and Amya met with Destination DC staff and learned what it's like to work at a destination marketing company in an amazing city like DC. They also had the chance to tour the Washington Auto Show thanks to our partners at Events DC and learn from their experts on what it's like to put on a show that size.

January 30, 2018 - For their January trip, the Culture Crew visited Union Market learning about the history of the market, how it is run and  the successful entrepreneurs that call it home. Students also had the chance to try a taste of dishes like a modern Ethiopian lunch concept at Gorsha and fresh squid ink pasta at Cucina al Volo. This trip was made possible by the help of Market Manager, Scott Vollmer, and Marketing Manager, Ally Mumm. Thanks, Union Market!

January 25, 2018 - Our Backyard Bound program welcomed students from the Foundation School of Montgomery County. They enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Grand Hyatt Washington, lunch at Carmine's, and exploring the International Spy Museum. AEF is very proud to partner with the Foundation Schools to offer their students these experiences. We'd like to thank Adrienne Mitchell, Joanne DeSantis, and Lucy Stirn for making this field trip extra special.

January 23, 2018 - AEF welcomes our 2018 Winter/Spring Semester Intern, Catherine (Katie) Streater. Katie moved to Washington, DC last summer from Fort Lauderdale, FL. She studied international business and economics at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. During her time as an undergrad, she interned at the YMCA assisting in community outreach. She is currently working on her Masters of Tourism Administration at George Washington University. As an AEF intern, she will work primarily on our field trip programs as well as other projects to continue enriching our local community. During her free time, she enjoys traveling and watching Friends on repeat.

January 11, 12, 16, & 17, 2018 -  Professionals helped judge end of semester projects at Wilson High School's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. Students in Level 1 researched and presented on a dream Senior Class Trip, including travel, lodging, activities, and meals, while Level 2 students designed and marketed new hospitality businesses in Washington DC. Special thanks to Greg Casten, President of Oceanpro Industries and Letizia Sitori, Associate Director of Tourism for Destination DC, for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their expertise.

December 11, 2017 -  The Washington Area Concierge Association awarded AEF with a $1,000 donation during their holiday party. The Foundation was nominated by several members for our work in the DC hospitality community.

December 11, 2017 - The Culture Crew culinary program kicked off at Reren. The Culture Crew is a program in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington to create an innovative and immersive experience for teens interested in hospitality, culinary arts and cultural leadership. These students will have the opportunity to experience the region's best in dining and hospitality and serve as a leader in appreciating new cultures for their Club and peers.

November 10, 2017 - AEF and 22 students from the DC Academies of Hospitality and Tourism visited the Marriott Marquis and the W Hotel Times Square in New York City to learn the ins and outs of these powerhouse hotels. After tours and a Q&A with hotel staff, they were treated to dinner at Buca di Beppo and the opening night performance of DC's own Step Afrika at the New Victory Theatre. Special thanks to Thomas Penny, Scott Nadeau, Ed Baten, Jim Deilman and C. Brian Williams for making this trip so special!

October 19, 2017 - Students from Ballou High School's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism visited the iHeartRadio studios in Rockville, Md. to learn more about marketing and radio broadcasting. DDC and AEF are proud to connect member businesses with students interested in a future career in hospitality. Special thanks to iHeartMedia's Jeff Newman and Patti Cochran for arranging the tour and our tour guide, Jennie Reynolds, for showing us around. 

July 20, 2017 - AEF welcomed over 70 of this summer’s DCPS Career Ready interns and their hospitality industry host employers at the inaugural Career Ready Internship Luncheon on July 20, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Washington. Special thanks goes to General Manager Gail Smith-Howard and her team for hosting this event.

July 12, 2017 - The Rite of Passage field trip on July 10-12 hosted 30 students and 5 staff members from the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region in North Carolina. Highlights included meeting Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-1) after a tour of the Capitol; lunch with Ms. Virginia Ali, co-founder of the iconic DC landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl; touring the Fredrick Douglass House; a sunset Big Bus tour; and hanging out with students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

July 5, 2017 - Thanks to the generous support of 27 partners, the July 4th VIP Celebration welcomed over 350 people and raised over $70,000 to support AEF programs. Special thanks goes to all of our partners and our hosts at the American Pharmacists Association.

American Experience Foundation Rite of Passage Field Trip in Washington, DC

June 15, 2017 DC Public Schools’ Career Ready Internships placed over 100 students at 45 AEF hospitality and tourism partner host employers, smashing DCPS’ goals for this program.

June 12, 2017 - The Backyard Bound field trip on June 12th hosted 23 students from Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7, Washington, DC). Within a packed day traveling around the city on a Big Bus, students lunched with Marriott Marquis General Manager Dan Nadeau at Madame Tussauds and enjoyed Operation Spy at the International Spy Museum.

June 4, 2017 - As Washington, DC welcomed US Travel’s IPW for the very first time, 26 students from the DC Academies of Hospitality and Tourism volunteered to be part of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the National Air & Space Museum, National Mall, and Washington Nationals Park. This gave these students a chance to interact with professionals from over 70 different countries and be part of executing events of incredibly large size and scope. 

May 23, 2017 - The Foundation awarded 4 scholarships to Andre Jones (Maya Angelou Public Carter HS); Deranique Graydon (Ballou HS); Zoe Michele Roberts (Wilson HS); and Johana Romero-Valdez (CHEC); Ms. Graydon was also the winner of the 2016 Gregory McCarthy Scholarship and interned at Destination DC. AEF was honored to have Ms. Graydon and Ms. Romero-Valdez at the July 4th Celebration and Ms. Roberts at the AEF Intern Luncheon.