Guam – Officials from the Hotel Nikko Guam were so impressed with the performance of Tourism Academy students from John F. Kennedy High School at their employee appreciation dinner in December that they decided to give back to the students through a $500 donation to the JFK Tourism Academy.
Ele Magdael, Nikko HR/Training Manager, and Sandra Flores, Public Relations Manager, presented the $500 check to the 20 students who participated and to Carol Cruz, GCC JFK CTE Hospitality & Tourism Management Program instructor, and Chris Poliquit, JFK ProStart instructor, this morning at JFK.
“They were excellent,” said Flores of the students’ performance at the Nikko event. “Very ‘on their feet’ – no delays.”
“They were very professional,” said Magdael. “We want to encourage more students to enroll in these types of programs and get more students into the hospitality industry. They’re young and talented, and we want them to come and work with us,” he added.
“We used what we learned in class – smiling all the time, being prompt and professional, asking guests if they need help, always having a positive attitude and making eye contact with them,” said Thessly Reyes, a 17-year-old JFK senior in the HTM program.
[Front Row L-R: Ele Magdael, Nikko HR/Training Manager; Sandra Flores, Nikko PR Manager; Carol Cruz, JFK HTMP instructor; and Chris Poliquit, JFK ProStart instructor, accept a check for $500 on behalf of their students, from left: Criscia Cali, Tanisha Elgarico, Luzviminda Zaldivar, Greg Muna, William Cabuhat, John Cadag, Joshua Devera, Mark Orendain, Rodney Tadifa, Julieanne Paulo, Augustine Ignacio, Jayceann Estella, Ernest Rios, Alicia Magro, Thessly Reyes, and Mylene Coronado]
The Tourism Academy concept was introduced by GCC through a partnership with the GCC CTE instructors and GDOE teachers in four of the public high schools (Southern High’s bell schedule prevents its inclusion). The idea is that students in the CTE programs all take classes with a certain group of teachers who integrate the CTE curriculum concepts like leadership and positive attitude throughout all subjects – English, math, and other subjects as well.
The Tourism Academy instructors “have higher expectations of students,” according to Cruz.
Cruz and Poliquit say the Nikko donation will fund field trip expenses for their students, and help with the purchase of food for ProStart school events.
In December 2012, Hotel Nikko Guam donated $10,000 to GCC in commemoration of the Nikko’s 20th anniversary on Guam. Twenty years ago, when Guam Community College opened its first Foundation Building, Hotel Nikko Guam donated $50,000 to the GCC Foundation to support the College’s education and training efforts for the tourism industry.