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American Experience Foundation News

American Experience Foundation Backyard Bound Field Trip in Washington, DC

April 25 - First Impressions Matter

Over several weeks, AEF collected professional clothes for AOHT students to utilize during their internships. In partnership with the Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters, 20 students listened to a panel of experts on professionalism. Michael Akin of LINK Strategic Partners spoke on what employers see when they Google you, and how to maintain a professional, yet unique presence online. Tiffany Ingram offered her insight on professional dress codes. Anne DeSantis, general manager of Paul Stuart, showed students the proper way to size and tailor clothes and Erich Hosbach, general manager of the Beacon Hotel, discussed their dress code, hotel renovations and staying current. The students were then able to shop from an array of professional clothing.

Professional attire was donated by Destination DC members and industry organizations including:

AIA DC; Association of Meeting Professionals; District Experience, Embassy Suites; Freeman; Georgetown BID, Hargrove Inc.; Hilton Worldwide, The Mayflower Hotel; National Children’s Museum; National Concierge Association; National Mall & Memorial Parks; Newseum; Residence Inn Capitol Hill/Navy Yard; Rosewood Washington DC; Stephen Pickhardt & Free Tours by Foot; The Washington Hilton; The Wink Hotel; and the Washington Area Concierge Association


April 22 - Charity off the Hook

AEF, along with several other local charities, attended Charity off the Hook at Ivy City Smokehouse. The night included top-notch seafood, live entertainment, street magic, wine, beer and spirits.

Cuisine was provided by DC's finest chefs including: Chris Clime, PassionFish; Danny Lee and Scott Drewno, CHIKO; and Mandu; Joanna Hellrigl, Doi Moi; Richard Hetzler, Harvest Table Culinary Group; Bobby Jones, The Point Crab House; Mike Ledesma, Perch;  Anna Bran Leis, Taqueria del Barrio; and David Stein, Tony & Joe's Seafood Place


April 4 – Washington Auto Show Media Day

Students from the Wilson High School Academies attended Washington Auto Show’s press day, including special sneak preview of the newest innovations and interactive exhibits.


March 29-31 – Milford Massachusetts Field Trip

AEF welcomed 18 students from the Milford High School (Massachusetts) Hospitality & Tourism Management Program for their DC field trip. They were joined by students from the Columbia Heights Educational Campus’ Academy. Special thanks to our partners: ARTECHOUSEGreat Escape RoomNational Portrait Gallery; and Old Town Trolley Tours.


March 15-17 – Rite of Passage Field Trip

In partnership with the SYTA Youth Foundation, AEF welcomed 30 students and 5 chaperones for a three-day Washington, DC experience. All students participate in Hamm Camp, a nonprofit week-long basketball camp based in Harrisburg, PA that was founded by DDC’s sports development manager, Lawrence Hamm. Special thanks to our partners: Big Bus ToursCapital City Go-GoCarmine's DCCrowne Plaza Crystal CityDani Fresh PhotographyEntertainment CruisesEventsDCInnovative CoachNational Museum of African American History and CultureNewseumObservation Deck at CEB Tower; Omari Pearson & Passion to Purpose; Peak Performance ToursStudent Watchers; and the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center


February 15 – Capitol Hill Volleyball Member Tournament

For this annual member event, 18 teams from the hospitality and tourism community competed and over raised $4,000 for AEF. Special thanks to our partners at the Capitol Hill Volleyball ClassicEventsDCCenterplate, Big BusSupra, and DC Row.


February 1 – Job Shadow Day

On this year’s Job Shadow Day, Destination DC hosted 5 students from the Academies at Wilson, Ballou and Maya Angelou High Schools. In total, over 30 students experienced the day in the life of hospitality professionals across the city.


January 22-23 – Backyard Bound Field Trip with Local AOHT Students

Forty high school students from each of DC’s four hospitality academies earned this experience through participation, attendance, and leadership.

Twelve DDC members contributed to this trip, creating an unforgettable educational and career-ready experience, including the Washington Hilton; Ben's Chili Bowl; Chris Ferenzi PhotographyClyde's of ChinatownDC by Foot;  District WharfInternational Spy Museum; Monumental SportsNewseumObservation Deck at CEB TowerReston LimoThe Anthem / I.P.M.The Etiquette Institute of Washington; and the Washington Business Journal


 December 6 – ​DDC Annual Holiday Party

The DDC Member Holiday Party at the Observation Deck at CEB Tower celebrated the holidays with our community while all while raising money for the American Experience Foundation’s work with young people.

Special thanks to: 3 Stars Brewing; Anthem / I.M.P.; Arena StageARTECHOUSEBeacon HotelCapital Burger; Comfort Inn DowntownCourtyard Marriott Dupont CircleDC BrauDC Urban AdventuresDistrict ChophouseDowntown Holiday MarketEmbark DCFounding FarmersHilton Garden Inn GeorgetownHilton Hotels & ResortsHomewood Suites Key BridgeJack NadelLeisure Pass Group; Maison Kayser; Mi VidaNational Cherry Blossom FestivalOmni Shoreham HotelPaul StuartQuality Inn Mount VernonReston Limo; SequoiaSimon Shopping Destinations; SOULEX float spaSt. RegisUnion Stage; and Washington Marriott Wardman Park


November 12 – Times Square Hotel Tours

32 Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (AHOT) sophomores and juniors traveled to NYC for a career field trip, touring the Marriott Marquis and W Hotel Times Square and a bird’s eye view of the city at the Top of the Rock. Special thanks also to Potbelly for dinner on the ride home!


October 27 – Culture Crew at Taste of DC Festival

Eleven students who participate in the Culture Crew had the chance to experience the best small food businesses DC has to offer at the 2018 Taste of DC Festival, including learning about spices and how to make hot sauce from ShePeppers.


October 24 – Maya Angelou AOHT at The Fall

Thirteen students from Maya Angelou Public Charter School Academy of Hospitality and Tourism attended a performance and educational panel of The Fall at Studio Theatre. The play follows seven student activists grappling with issues of race, class, gender, history, and power during the 2015 #RhodesMustFall protests in South Africa.