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American Experience Foundation Backyard Bound Field Trip in Washington, DC

American Experience Foundation Updates

February 11 – Masseria Job Shadow Opportunity

Michelin-starred chef Nick Stefanelli and his team at Masseria welcomed two students from Ballou High School’s Academy of Culinary Arts to a very special Job Shadow Day experience working side by side with sous chef Ryan Smith.

February 10 – National Airport Tour

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority welcomed 25 students from Wilson and CHEC Academies to National Airport for a special behind the scenes look to discover the thousands of career opportunities in aviation, everything ranging from sales to security and beyond. Special thanks to Tanisha Lewis and the entire MWAA and airport teams!

February 7 – National Job Shadow Day

AEF and Destination DC welcomed 6 students from the Academies at Ballou, Columbia Heights, and Wilson High Schools for National Job Shadow Day! In addition to learning all about working at a destination marketing organization, students got a firsthand look at how DDC and AEF work with our partners with a tour of the Conrad Hotel and ARTECHOUSE. Across the city, AEF helped place 65 Academy students at 35 hospitality and tourism businesses for Job Shadow Day experiences. Check this out, the Ballou students were featured on the news!

Professional Clothing Drive

It’s getting warmer and you know what that means: Spring cleaning and summer internships! You can help your future intern by donating new or gently used and cleaned professional dress items for all shapes, sizes and genders. Items on hangers preferred, but certainly not required. These items will be distributed to Academy of Hospitality and Tourism students at our First Impressions Matter event in March. Clothing items can be dropped off at the Destination DC offices in Chinatown. If you are donating more than 20 items or your company would like to hold a drive of their own, pick up is available by filling out this form.

January 30 – NAF Work-Based Learning Panel

Lisa and 2019 Career Ready Intern Makayla Cruz participated in a NAF panel on building stronger workplace-based learning opportunities for students and how policy makers and leaders can support businesses in providing meaningful internships. Special thanks to Makayla for spending her morning and insight with us and big congratulations on her acceptance to North Carolina A&T!

January 27-28 – Backyard Bound Field Trip 

Forty local AOHT students participated in a Backyard Bound Field Trip to learn about the different career paths within the tourism/hospitality industry. With the help of many DDC members the students were able to explore their own backyard. Thank you to the following AEF partners for making this field trip possible: Marriott Marquis Washington DC, Washington Auto Show, LEON, Smithsonian Enterprises, Lucky Strike, Hirshhorn, Hyatt Place National Mall and the International Spy Museum. Our field trip was also featured on the news!

January 23 – Washington Auto Show

Our friends at the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association welcomed 30 Academy students to their Media Day to kick off the 2020 Washington Auto Show. In addition to getting a sneak peak at this year’s show, students had the opportunity to watch press conferences and interact with representatives from the world’s biggest auto makers.

End of Semester Judging

Destination DC colleagues learned more about the hospitality and tourism industry from Academy students at Wilson and Maya Angelou High Schools when they served as judges for end of semester presentations. They listened to new ideas and innovative marketing techniques, as well as gave feedback and encouragement to help build the next generation of professionals!

National Job Shadow Day

Did you make a new year’s resolution to invest in our community?

Jump start your 2020 by joining us on National Job Shadow Day on February 7, 2020 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Your business will host high school student(s) who are studying hospitality and tourism at DC’s four high school Academies of Hospitality and Tourism. You choose how students will shadow you for the day: tour your workplace, meet with different teams and clients or help complete a special project. Deadline to register is January 17, 2020.

December 19 - AEF Alumni Dinner

AEF and the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill welcomed AEF Alumni and Scholarship Winners to a holiday dinner to reconnect. A very special thank you goes to General Manager Gail Smith-Howard for taking time out of her busy schedule to spend time with our Alumni at dinner.

Winter Clothing and Coat Drive

AEF, Destination DC, and our many generous industry partners collected over 400 coats and 200 pairs of hats, gloves, and scarves as part of AEF’s annual Coat & Winter Clothing Drive, shattering last year’s record. All of these items were delivered to DC’s four Academies of Hospitality and Tourism as well as DC Parks and Recreation’s Community Coat Drive. Thank you for this outpouring of generosity and holiday spirit!

December 11 - The Academies go to Enchant! 

30 Academy students from Ballou and Wilson went to Enchant Christmas to meet with some of their leadership. The students learned how an event of large scale is produced and marketed, while hearing about the many career opportunities. After the meeting, the students were free to explore and experience the magic of Enchant Christmas.  

December 10 - AEF Member Holiday Party

12 amazing AEF facts of 2019

Shared at the December 2019 Destination DC member holiday party.

1) We’ve welcomed students from Pittsburg, Puerto Rico, Chicago and more for free field trips to the Nation’s capital – inspiring them with the wonders of travel.

2) Wilson High School’s first Academy of Hospitality and Tourism student to attend Cornell’s Hotel Management School is enrolled in her first semester now. AEF’s scholarship helped Bianca get there. She’s the first in her family to go to college.

3) Students Erica, Jonelle, and Keisha were thrilled to be passengers in the Land Rover and Jaguar test drive courses at the Washington Auto Show last year. (Their teacher, Mr. Wims, was even more excited to get to drive one of those cars!)

4) On last year’s Backyard Bound field trip for 40 DC students, Kayla and her classmates saw their first CAPS game—their first hockey game ever.

5) Thanks to an AEF program, this year a high school junior named Stephon met a chef who reinforced his desire to learn culinary arts.

6) Nathan picked out a suit from clothes donated by Destination DC members during the spring professional clothing drive. He wore it on his first day of his summer Career Ready Internship.

7) Joe earned a scholarship when he graduated from the Columbia Heights Educational Campus. His dream is to transform his weekend bus-boy job into restaurant ownership.

8) AEF All Stars Zoe and Deranique have earned scholarships 3 years in a row – helping them stay focused on college, and their future careers. In 2019 AEF Gave 9 scholarships and to date, we’ve given $63,000 in scholarship money!

9) Last year we helped place 75 high school Career Ready Interns with Destination DC members for meaningful professional experiences. Makayla, Jashawn and Nizar worked with the Destination DC team.

10) Michelle rode a bike for the first time when Bike and Roll provided a tour for her and her fellow Career Ready Interns.

11) In November, AEF took 30 DC academy of Hospitality & Tourism Students to New York City to tour hotels and learn about hospitality careers. Jackson was particularly excited to learn that hotel employees get a free shift meal in the employee cafeteria—and had 2 heaping plates at the breakfast buffet.

12) Members have donated more than 200 winter coats. They’ll be taken to the 4 DC Academies of Hospitality & Tourism before Christmas. It’s much easier to learn when you’re not cold!

December 6- AEF Winter Clothing and Coat Drive 

The American Experience Foundation, Destination DC, and our partners collected over 400 coats and 200 pairs of hats, gloves, and scarves as part of AEF’s annual Coat & Winter Clothing Drive, shattering last year’s record. All of these items were delivered to DC’s four Academies of Hospitality and Tourism as well as DC Parks and Recreations Coat Drive. Thank you for this outpouring of generosity and holiday spirit!

November 10 - 11 - AEF goes to NYC

AEF's annual Times Square Tour brought 30 Academy of Hospitality & Tourism Students from DC for a behind the scenes tour of the New York Marriott Marquis and W New York - Times Square. Students were also treated to a private nighttime tour of Manhattan with Big Bus NY. Special thanks to our friends Marquis General Manager Dan Nadeau and W Hotel Director of Operations Thomas Sturniolo for their hospitality. The Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. provided support for this field trip.

November 1 - December 6 - Winter Clothing and Coat Drive

Destination DC and AEF are working to ensure students keep warm this winter. You can donate new or gently used and clean coats, hats, gloves, and scarves, which will be distributed to Academy of Hospitality and Tourism students and their families. Items can be dropped off at the DDC Offices (901 7th Street, NW, 4th Floor) during normal business hours from November 1 – December 6, 2019. More drop off locations and events to come! 

October 24 - Backyard Bound Field Trip 

AEF is hosting a Backyard Bound field trip for members of Raising a Village’s Driven 2 Succeed program at H.D. Woodson High School. The students will go on a tour of the monuments with Old Town Trolley, visit Madame Tussauds, have lunch with Le Pain Quotidien, see a performance of Fences at Ford’s Theatre, and visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

August 22 - AEF named Outstanding Industry Partner of the Year

AEF was named Outstanding Industry Partner by the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education and DC Career Academy Network. Here’s what they had to say about us: 

“AEF has worked tirelessly to expose students to the hospitality and tourism industry.They have been involved in every part of work-based learning activities including judging projects in schools, providing career-focused field trips, recruiting host employers for Career Ready Internships, and awarding more than $20,000 in scholarships to our graduating seniors.”

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.

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