SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Gives Out 23 Scholarships

Eileen Paul Scholarship recipients
Eileen Paul Scholarship recipients

THE Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association’s Tourism Enhancement Fund on Thursday handed out 23 scholarships to students from various secondary schools.

The Eileen Paul Scholarship, (named after the SLHTA’s longest serving employee) will provide financial support to these students for the next five years once they continue to meet the criteria outlined under the programme.

The students, whose parents work in the tourism industry, each received a $2000.00 grant.

Students have been benefitting from this initiative since its inception in 2021.

According to Donette Ismael, Programme Manager for SLASPA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Eileen Paul Scholarship Programme “is a testament to our belief as a Tourism Enhancement Fund in the power of education to transform lives.”

“It is an immense pleasure to stand before you… to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge, the power of education and the generous contribution of the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund. Today we come together to recognize and honour the hard work, dedication and potential of our exceptional students,” Ismael told the audience.

Paul, who served the organization for over forty years was a remarkable individual, Ismael said, adding that she left an indelible mark on the SLHTA.

“Her dedication and unwavering support made her a true inspiration to us all. Her legacy reminds us of the importance of passion, perseverance and the impact of a lifetime devoted to a cause,” said Ismael.

TEF Chairman Winston Anderson pointed out that TEF’s “commitment is to continuously change, impact and develop lives to make our industry better, but most importantly to develop our younger generation… and we continue to see that happen… it truly gives me great pride.”

The Eileen Paul Scholarship Programme “also provides an opportunity to support our dedicated team members,” Anderson noted.

SLHTA CEO, Noorani Azeez, in his closing remarks acknowledged “the sacrifices that you (parents) make to ensure that kids put their best foot forward. When we look at the various degrees of challenges we have in our society today and the various issues that we are struggling and wrestling with on a social level I must tell you parenting as exceptional as yours must be (commended).”

He also thanked Programme Manager Donette Ismael noting that for Ismael, “the human development aspect of the Tourism Enhancement Fund… is one that… she looks forward to. This year she undertook a commitment to spend 1.3 million dollars of her budget on Tourism Enhancement Fund programmes and she’s gone to the tune of two million this year because she has recognized the tremendous need of our communities and our people.”

Eileen Paul entered the field of Tourism and Hospitality at a time when tourism was neither understood nor accepted by the general public, according to the SLHTA.

Nevertheless, Paul worked tirelessly at the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association to facilitate its acceptance contributing in no small part to the high profile which it enjoys today.

Paul has received many Awards and Citations including those listed below;

Professional Service Award– 1994 – Professional Secretaries Association

Lifetime Achievement Award – 1997 – Ministry of Tourism

Certificate of Appreciation – 2004 – Mount Saint Vincent University

Dedicated Service Award – 2005 – Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association Inc

Member of the British Empire – 2007 – Queen’s Birthday Honours

Honorary Member of the SLHTA – 2010 – Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association Inc

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal – 2012 – Office of the Governor General

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