Carl Richardson and Andrina Daniel are the recipients of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority’s (BTPA) Barbados Community College (BCC) Culinary Arts Scholarship.
Elated that their hard work had paid off, the second year students, who are enrolled in the BCC Hospitality Institute’s Culinary Arts programme, said they worked diligently to achieve and maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of above 3.4.
They were each given a cheque of BDS$2,500 from Manager of Innovation & Strategy in the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Terry Vanterpool-Fox during an informal presentation, which was witnessed by their classmates.
Congratulating both students, Ms. Vanterpool-Fox said the BTPA BCC Culinary Arts Scholarship was the organization’s way of giving back to its community.
“In conversation with loyalty visitors, we keep asking what is it that keeps bringing you back to Barbados…. It’s the people they keep saying. So, if we’re doing sustainable tourism, and our people are our biggest asset, our most valuable asset, we have to invest back into our people. And the best place to start is with students,” Ms. Vanterpool-Fox said.
The tourism official added that 2019 was the last year the scholarship would be branded under the BTPA, as that organization had merged with the BTMI.
“It would be rebranded in 2020 and we have plans to offer an even bigger and better scholarship in 2020. We’re going to continue that partnership [with BCC] until we can no longer continue the partnership, so this is almost like ad infinitum,” she said to a loud round of applause.
However, Ms. Vanterpool-Fox also appealed to the other students to take advantage of scholarship opportunities, and lamented that it was difficult to get students to apply in 2019. Applicants were required to maintain a GPA of 3.4; write a personal statement; and complete a questionnaire.
“We want to encourage more students to come forward. Every little helps in this day and age, in this economic environment. And we know that the little extra can help push you that much further towards being successful and achieving your goals,” she said.
Director of the BCC Hospitality Institute, Jennifer Barrow, expressed her gratitude for the scholarship.
“We are forever grateful to the Barbados Tourism Product Authority, which has now merged back into the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. Barbados has positioned itself as the culinary capital of the region, so therefore to have skilled, experienced and qualified chefs is very important to the development of the industry of tourism, as well as to the tourism product offering that we have,” she said.
She advised the students to pay attention to their attitudes. “It is how you approach, how you react, and how you do what you do that will decide whether you are going to be a shining star, or if you will be a dud. And we [BCC] tend not to pass out duds. So, we are proud to have some shining stars and every single one of you have the ability to be a shining star wherever you choose to shine,” Ms. Barrow stated.
Mr. Richardson thanked the BTMI and his dad along with friends and family for their support. He also thanked his tutor Lynette Francis-Thornhill, who he said was “adamant” that students applied for the scholarship.
“I am very joyous because I never really won anything of such standard in my life and for the first time, it is a good start…. I had to get a few As and Bs and keep that GPA above 3.4, a lot of good things actually,” the 30-year-old said.
On completion of his studies at BCC, Mr. Richardson plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at Johnson & Wales University in Miami, then “return to Barbados and kick up a storm”.
Twenty-six-year-old Andrina Daniel said she was surprised that she had won the scholarship, noting that this was the second scholarship she had received.
Thanking the BTMI, she said her future goal is to eventually study culinary arts in Switzerland and gain experience through internships and job placement. Ms. Daniel also urged other students to take advantage of scholarship opportunities.
“It is good to apply because the scholarships are there to help people who need the financial assistance, so just try your luck and apply,” she advised.