Sandals Foundation and Junior Achievement (JA) allowed schools to experience first-hand the world-famous Sandals’ hospitality at work.
Sandals Grenada recently allowed students from 17 schools in the country an insight into what it’s like to work at the world’s leading luxury-included hotel chain, in what is the region’s fastest-growing sector, tourism.
It was an experience that teacher Patricia Peters from Carriacou’s Dover Government School described as ‘Amazing!’ and one that could open a new career choice for many of the students. It all came about through the Junior Achievement for Primary Schools programme which is sponsored by Sandals Foundation.
There was an air of excitement among both staff and guests to see the children on the resort — a rare appearance at the adults’ only beach resort. The students coloured the property neatly suited in their school uniforms with name badges stating their job titles. Roles shadowed ranged from General Manager, Landscaping Manager, Human Resource Manager and Entertainment Manager to Loyalty & Travel Consultant, Butler, Tour Specialist and Financial Controller.
Shade Alleyne, a Grade 6 student of Uganda Martyrs Catholic School who shadowed the Food and Beverage Director Charles Languard, seemed overwhelmed at the end of her experience stating, “There are so many restaurants, and chefs and staff and guests. Hats off to you! I don’t know how you do it!”
Also present from the sister isles were students and teachers of the Harvey Vale Government School and Hillsborough Government School. Upon arrival they were greeted by Public Relations Manager, Deleon Forrester. In her introduction she explained; “What makes us a cut above is the Sandals signature Luxury All Included ® difference, which you will learn about today. We hope that you will be inspired to see that a brand born in the Caribbean developed by Caribbean people just like you and I, can go global.”
Bernard Antoine, Chairman of Junior Achievement Grenada, told the children they had a unique opportunity today to explore the product created by one of the region’s foremost entrepreneurs, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart”. Antoine commended Sandals for accepting the JA students and making this event a memorable experience for all.
The students and teachers were wowed by video presentations, highlighting all aspects of what Luxury All Included® really means across the 6 islands and 19 resorts operated by Sandals. Segments highlighted the vast array of dining options and international cuisine; wines; bars; watersports; land sports; entertainment; butler service; luxury transfers; spas and weddings — that are all included and unlimited at the luxury resort.
The students and teachers received ample information and learned key aspects of the importance of their respective roles. Reianna Sylvester of St Giles Anglican School who shadowed the Financial Controller shared, “I learned that you cannot spend more than you make.”
For Tarick Crawford of Grand Anse RC School stationed with the Island Routes Tours Specialists, it was all about adventure and the outdoors. Crawford was all smiles as he was driven by his partner for the day on a Dune Buggy. “There are many things to experience in Grenada, the chocolate factory, rum factory, estates, waterfalls, boat rides, dune buggies…”
Peter Fraser, the resort’s General Manager, was shadowed by Merlique Andrew of Hillsborough Government School. Fraser commented, “These young Junior Achievers have had a truly memorable experience with us today. It is one that even I will hold dear to my heart. We hope that like our chairman, they will dare to be different and think outside the box. They need to be the innovators of tomorrow, the movers and shakers, the game changers, just like our founder and Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, the legendary Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.”
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, in commending the Sandals Grenada team, remarked that allowing the children to have hands-on experience in various areas of hotel management is a very effective way of imparting knowledge.
“We support the Junior Achievement programme in primary schools because we believe it is never too early to introduce children to entrepreneurial and career building skills. Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Caribbean and the fact that they are now able to see firsthand some of the jobs in that industry that they have been learning about will be invaluable to their development. We must, therefore, say thank you to the Sandals Grenada and Junior Achievement teams for making such an experience possible,” Clarke said.