A short ceremony was held this morning where the Belize Tourism Board, BTB, and the Belize Hotel Association, BHA, provided a total of ten scholarships to Belizean students. BTB offered four scholarships to students pursuing tourism related studies. Herbert Haylock, BTB Director Quality Assurance, told the media that the total value of the scholarships is $33,700.
Herbert Haylock – BTB Director Quality Assurance: “There are four awards that are going to be issued. One is for the Culinary Scholarship Award that we give, that Is the yearly award. We have two Bachelor Degrees scholarship awards that will be given which are tuition scholarships only and we also have the Gene Shaw Scholarship Award which is again designated as such for the Gene Shaw remembrance in regards to being a pioneer in the industry so that is the fourth scholarship award. That scholarship award as well covers tuition, it covers books and fees so it is a sort of all-inclusive award. There are thirty two actual applicants submitting for this year’s consideration. It is a process that involves the submission of the applications once the call goes out. In addition to the submissions we review based on the criteria looking at financial need, we look at academic performance, we look at considerations in relation to working in the sector and commitment to working within the sector-based on the programs people want to study and pursue. Those are some of the basic things that are reviewed as part of the process. We put out the call from earlier this year so the call was running for several months and again as I mentioned earlier we had thirty-two applicants submit for consideration and four were successful at the end of the day. Three of the students are both bachelor degree awardees and Gene Shaw Awardee will be pursuing their studies at the University of Belize. The fourth recipient which is the recipient of the culinary award is actually enrolled in a culinary course of study abroad in the United States at the moment. “
The other six scholarships went to students whose parents are within the membership of the Belize Hotel Association. According to BHA’s Director Roanne Badillo, these students who met the scholarship requirements are from the Cayo and Belize Districts.
Roanne Badillo – BHA’s Director: “What we do is that we ask each applicant to send in a letter just basically explaining what they are requesting from the BHA? The assistance that they need? what course they want to take? And then we review these applications. We normally have a deadline of June 30th because we want to try to get everything in order and paid for before school begins and have everything ready. Yes we have a selection committee, we look through all the applications and we try to make the best of an unbiased selection as possible but we look at grades, we look at financial needs, those are two of the main criteria we look at. For the BHA the value is $9,000 for the total of the six scholarships.”
Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. commended BTB and BHA’s commitment in supporting educational endeavours and by extension contribute to the development of the country.