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American Experience Foundation News

American Experience Foundation Backyard Bound Field Trip in Washington, DC

August 27 - Marketing Outlook Meeting

Thirteen Academy of Hospitality and Tourism students attended Destination DC’s Marketing Outlook Meeting at the Kennedy Center’s The Reach. Students learned about Destination DC’s work in 2018 as well as campaigns for 2020, and heard from keynote speaker, Park Howell, about the power of storytelling. 

August 1 - Career Ready Intern Luncheon

The Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill hosted at AEF’s Third Annual Career Ready Intern Luncheon. This event brought together 95 interns and employers to thank them all for six weeks of hard work and gave interns an opportunity to experience a real professional networking event.

July 9 - NAF Next 2019 Conference 

AEF Executive Director Claire Carlin, Wilson AOHT Director Alex Wilson and Ballou AOTH College & Career Coordinator Brittany Anderson presented at the NAF Next 2019 Conference in Detroit, MI. “Partnering with Your Local Visitors Bureau to Enhance Hospitality Work-Based Learning” gave a road map of best practices for other Academies of Hospitality and Tourism to access the resources in their own backyard. 

June 24 - Career Ready Internship Program 

This summer, thirty industry employers hosted over 75 Academy student interns as part of the Career Ready Internship program. Three students interned at AEF and Destination DC:

  • Makayla Cruz, Columbia Heights Educational Campus
  • Jashawn Evans, Ballou High School
  • Nizar Ghoumari, Wilson High School

These interns visited over a dozen DDC partner businesses to learn the scope and depth of the industry and helped execute AEF’s summer events.

June 11 - Culture Crew Goes to Blue Duck Tavern

Six Culture Crew Students, a collaboration of AEF and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, were treated to a very special dinner at Blue Duck Tavern. Their host was executive chef Adam Howard, who discussed his career path and what it’s like to run a Michelin starred restaurant.

June 11 - 2019 AEF Scholarship Winners - Andre Jones & Loriel Taylor 

AEF Executive Director Claire Carlin was proud to present Andre Jones and Loriel Taylor of Maya Angelou Academy of Hospitality and Tourism their 2019 AEF Scholarships at their Senior Awards. Mr. Jones is a two time winner of the AEF scholarship. 

June 5 - 2019 AEF Scholarship Winner - Britney Rivera- Martinez 

AEF Executive Director Claire Carlin, Committee Member Leticia Proctor, and AEF scholarship winner and Wilson alumna Zoe Michele Roberts presented the 2019 AEF Scholarship to Britney Rivera-Martinez at Wilson High School’s Senior Awards Dinner.

June 4 - Career Ready Host Employers Training 

AEF hosted 20 Career Ready Host Employers for a youth development training and orientation session. This training ensures employers are prepared to make the most of their intern’s six week experience. Special thanks to LeVar Jones for sharing his wisdom on how to work best with young people

May 30 - David Iselin Scholarship for Community Service Winner - Adam Temesgen 

Harold and Lauren Iselin presented the inaugural David Iselin Scholarship for Community Service to Adam Temesgen at Columbia Heights Educational Campus’ Senior Awards Dinner. The scholarship honors our late Destination DC colleague and is awarded to a student who demonstrates David’s strong commitment to serving his community. 

May 29 - Ballou Academy Achieves Distinguished Status, 2019 AEF Scholarship Winner - Amya Mckoy

Friends, family, and officials from both Washington, DC and the National Academy Foundation came out to celebrate the Ballou Academy of Hospitality and Tourism achieving Distinguished Status. This makes Ballou only the 14th Academy of Hospitality and Tourism in the country to meet this high standard. AEF was awarded Outstanding Industry Partner at the event; Destination DC President and CEO, Elliott Ferguson, was on hand to present Amya Mckoy with the 2019 AEF Scholarship.  

May 15 - Skål International 

AEF was recognized at the Skål International Washington, DC Reception, Dinner and Auction at the Melrose Hotel. The event raised $4,000 for AEF’s programs for young people.

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.