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American Experience Foundation News

American Experience Foundation Backyard Bound Field Trip in Washington, DC

August 10

AEF and our Academy of Hospitality and Tourism partners convened at the Hyatt Place National Mall to build and enhance our academy programs for the upcoming school year. Special thanks to Hyatt Place General Manager Stacy Smith for hosting us.

July 20 - 23

In partnership with the Student Youth Travel Association's Youth Foundation, AEF hosted 25 students and 5 chaperones from across Puerto Rico for an unforgettable 3-day Rite of Passage travel experience to Washington, DC, including a Big Bus monuments tour, visits to the International Spy Museum and Newseum, and lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl.

July 17

AEF welcomed 40 of this summer's Career Ready interns and their hospitality industry host employers at the Career Ready Internship Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill. Interns heard from Destination DC CEO Elliot Ferguson, Hyatt Regency General Manager Gail Smith-Howard and many of the Hyatt Regency's senior management on career possibilities in the hospitality industry.

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July 9 - 11

AEF presented two panels at the National Academy Foundation's NAF Next 2018 conference; including an educational workshop on Partnering with Your Local Visitors Bureau to Enhance Hospitality Work-Based Learning with two of our DC Academy faculty colleagues. Executive Director Claire Carlin also spoke on a Hospitality and Tourism Industry Update panel.

July 4

The Sixth Annual July 4th VIP Celebration welcomed over 400 guests and 30 corporate partners to the Potomac View Terrace at the American Pharmacists Association. The event netted over $75,000 and the best view of the fireworks in the city. Special thanks to our title partners, American Airlines, for their support of this event over the past six years.

June 28 

The Shakespeare Theatre and AEF welcomed the Career Ready interns and their host employers for an exciting non-verbal communication and collaboration workshop that got us off our feet, followed by a behind the scenes look at what it takes to put on a world class production.

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June 25

 Destination DC and AEF welcomed our Career Ready Intern, Dijon Kerns. Dijon is a rising senior at Ballou High School, a member of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, and an aspiring architect.

June 5

In order to prepare for this summer's Career Ready Internship program, AEF and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington hosted a youth development training for employers. They learned best practices for teen engagement, templates for successful teen-led projects, and youth development principles. Thank you to Mastro's Steakhouse for hosting and Le Var Jones of the BGCGW for leading this event.

June 1 

AEF awarded $15,000 in scholarships to: Daren Dorsey, Ballou High School; Perpetua Nkem, Columbia Heights Education Campus; Sharnae Niblet, Maya Angelou Public Charter High School; Lauren Bryana Brown, Wilson High School; Diamond Hunter, Wilson High School; and Deranique Graydon, University of the District of Columbia.

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May 16-17

AEF’s Rite of Passage field trip welcomed 11 students and 2 chaperones from the Indian River Middle School in Canaan, New Hampshire. The trip emphasized historic DC sites like the Frederick Douglass House, the US Capitol, and the National Mall.  Other trip highlights included stops at the National Air and Space Museum, Newseum, the International Spy Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery to see the new presidential portraits. Special thanks to our partners at Old Town Trolley Tours for their support of this field trip.

April 25

AEF and other local hospitality employers interviewed students from the four DC Academies of Hospitality and Tourism to prepare for the Career Ready Internship program, a 6-week summer internship program organized by the DC Career Academy Network and DC Public Schools.There is no cost to the employer to participate, so if you would like to host a student, please contact chloe.jordan [at] (Chloe Jordan) at DC Career Academy Network.

April 24 

 The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse hosted Charity Off The Hook, their annual fundraiser which highlights some of the best seafood chefs in the city and raises money for local charities. This year, AEF was proud to be one of these charities! A special thank you to Greg Casten for his continuing support of the Foundation.

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April 8

AEF welcomed 75 students from Charles Hart Middle School (Washington, DC) to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a behind the scenes look at the iconic building. Later, the students watched the documentary “Pandas” at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater. A special thanks goes to Karen at Smithsonian Enterprises and our insightful guides at the Kennedy Center.

March 8

AEF and 40 students from the DC Academies of Hospitality of Tourism attended a behind the scenes look at the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Men’s Basketball Championship. Keith Gill, the A-10 Executive Associate Commissioner, gave the students a tour of the Capital One Arena and answered the students’ questions about sports tourism. After the tour, the students volunteered handing out A-10 t-shirts and watched VCU and Dayton battle it out on the court. This experience was made possible by Keith Gill and the Atlantic 10 Conference.

March 7

Profish and Ivy City Smokehouse welcomed AEF and 26 students from Wilson High School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. Special thanks to Greg Casten, President of Oceanpro Industries, who gave the students a tour of their seafood distribution plant, discussed the ins and outs of seafood and the restaurant business, and joined them for lunch at the Smokehouse.

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February 22

AEF and the Atlantic 10 Conference welcomed 40 students from all four of DC's Academies of Hospitality and Tourism to George Washington University for an educational panel focusing on careers in athletics and hospitality. Our panelists included: Brad Edwards, Director of Athletics for George Mason University; Lawrence Hamm, Sports Tourism Manager for Destination DC; Mark Hyman, Professor of Management and Tourism Studies at George Washington University; and Tanya Vogel, Acting Director of Athletics for George Washington University and it was moderated by Keith Gill, Executive Associate Commissioner for the Atlantic 10 Conference. Thank you to our partners at Roti Modern Mediterranean for lunch. Make sure to catch all the action of the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament here in Washington, DC in March!

February 16

The Capitol Hill Volleyball Destination DC Member Tournament welcomed 120 participants and raised over $4,000 to support AEF! Special thanks to the Mizuno Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic for opening their courts to host us on the eve of their annual tournament.  Congratulations to: First Place – Reston Roadrunners [Reston Limousine]; Second Place – CSI Warriors [CSI Washington DC]; Third Place – Events DC Strikers; Most Team Spirit Award – CSI Warriors; and Biggest Donors to AEF - Big Bus Tours DC. Thank you to all of our participants and our event partners, Events DC, Centerplate, District Doughnut, District Distilling Co., City Tap House, VIDA Fitness, and Pivotal Moments.

February 8 

Our Backyard Bound program welcomed students from the Foundation School of Prince George's County for a day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Special thanks to Old Town Trolley Tours for arranging transportation to and from the museum.

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February 2

 AEF and Destination DC welcomed Ziporia Irick, Dijon Kerns and Amya McKoy, juniors at Ballou High School's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism program, to our offices for National Job Shadow Day! Ziporia, Dijon, and Amya met with Destination DC staff and learned what it's like to work at a destination marketing company in an amazing city like DC. They also had the chance to tour the Washington Auto Show thanks to our partners at Events DC and learn from their experts on what it's like to put on a show that size.

January 30

For their January trip, the Culture Crew visited Union Market learning about the history of the market, how it is run and  the successful entrepreneurs that call it home. Students also had the chance to try a taste of dishes like a modern Ethiopian lunch concept at Gorsha and fresh squid ink pasta at Cucina al Volo. This trip was made possible by the help of Market Manager, Scott Vollmer, and Marketing Manager, Ally Mumm. Thanks, Union Market!

January 25

Our Backyard Bound program welcomed students from the Foundation School of Montgomery County. They enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Grand Hyatt Washington, lunch at Carmine's, and exploring the International Spy Museum. AEF is very proud to partner with the Foundation Schools to offer their students these experiences. We'd like to thank Adrienne Mitchell, Joanne DeSantis, and Lucy Stirn for making this field trip extra special.

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January 23

AEF welcomes our 2018 Winter/Spring Semester Intern, Catherine (Katie) Streater. Katie moved to Washington, DC last summer from Fort Lauderdale, FL. She studied international business and economics at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. During her time as an undergrad, she interned at the YMCA assisting in community outreach. She is currently working on her Masters of Tourism Administration at George Washington University. As an AEF intern, she will work primarily on our field trip programs as well as other projects to continue enriching our local community. During her free time, she enjoys traveling and watching Friends on repeat.

January 11, 12, 16, & 17

Professionals helped judge end of semester projects at Wilson High School's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. Students in Level 1 researched and presented on a dream Senior Class Trip, including travel, lodging, activities, and meals, while Level 2 students designed and marketed new hospitality businesses in Washington DC. Special thanks to Greg Casten, President of Oceanpro Industries and Letizia Sitori, Associate Director of Tourism for Destination DC, for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their expertise.