MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, February 13, 2023 - Some 250 hospitality students at Spot Valley High School are now better equipped to conduct their practical sessions following the donation of key appliances, cooking utensils and other resources valued at $775,000 made possible through a partnership with the Sandals Foundation, its parent company’s Food & Beverage department and international beverage alcohol company – Constellation Brands.
The future industry players were gifted with premium cookware, state of the art stoves, refrigerators, cooking utensils and a much-needed microwave in the first of a series of donations to be made to hospitality training institutions across the Caribbean.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of Sandals Foundation said the outreach was made possible through the support of Sandals and Beaches guests who purchase special selected Robert Mondavi wines from the resort Chairman’s Wine List.
“At the Sandals Foundation, we are always exploring new ways through which we can provide guests with an opportunity to give back. Through this special partnership with our resort’s Food and Beverage Department and Constellation Brands, guests have been able to enjoy specially selected Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines during their romantic dinners all while knowing that their purchases were also helping to provide skills training to Caribbean nationals. We are honored to be able to use the strength of our tourism network to make tangible change in the lives of young people and wish all the success to students at Spot Valley High.”
In November of last year, the corporate teams announced that they had raised some $2. 6 million that would help bridge the gap in youth development and hospitality training.
Speaking at the recently held handover, Chairwoman of the Spot Valley High School, LaQuessar Livingston-Doctor explained how the development was initiated.
“We did a walk-through of the food’s lab last year and it was evident that a lot of the equipment were dated and most weren’t even working. I spoke to the head of the Home Economics department, Mrs. Fraser-Richards, who then expressed her frustrations about the toll it takes on the students to try and work efficiently in that environment especially given that the school participates in national cooking competitions - that’s when we were pointed in the direction of the Sandals Foundation.”
Nickeisha Fraser-Richards, head of the Home Economics department elaborated by noting, “our mission here at Spot Valley High School is to educate and empower our children This contribution not only helps to prepare our students for the world of work, but [because] our students come to us from inner city communities, this is an amazing way to divert them from the negativity that they may face every day and empower them to become productive members of society through hospitality.”
The school prepares students for Caribbean Examinations Certification, (CSEC and CAPE) City and Guild as well as HEART/NTA examinations.
For eleventh grade student, Kemar Thompson, he gleefully declared, “I am happy that we now have these equipment in the lab because it helps us with our SBA’s and I can get more practice as I work towards becoming an army chef one day, just like my sister.”
Skills training is a key area of support provided by the Sandals Foundation. In 2022, the philanthropic organisation intensified its focus on bolstering hospitality-linked skills training institutions as part of its 40 for 40 Initiative used to support the 40th anniversary celebration of its parent company - Sandals Resorts International.