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Hospitality Heartline
CHTA Education Foundation Provides Grants For Two St. Croix Culinary Students; Leads To Job At Facebook

Two St. Croix culinary students - Denika Boyd and Aaron Tutein - have landed jobs at the corporate campus of Facebook following interships at the online social networking company.  The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF), through its partnership with the St. Croix Foundation, a non-profit community organization dedicated to advancing the social, economic and business well-being of the US Virgin Islands, supported the students during their internship by providing both with a $1,000 grant to assist with expenses related to their participation in the program.

"The CHTA Education Foundation is thrilled to learn that both Denika Boyd and Aaron Tutein have earned jobs in Facebook's food services division," said Richard S. Kahn, chairman of CHTAEF.  "CHTAEF's mission is to enhance educational opportunities for Caribbean students by offering financial assistance to qualified individuals.  We are pleased to have partnered with the St. Croix Foundation to further the careers of Ms. Boyd and Mr. Tutein," Kahn added.  

"What excites us the most about Denika Boyd and Aaron Tutein joining the culinary team at Facebook is that we have helped develop career paths for our youth," stated Roger Dewey, the director of the St. Croix Foundation.  "All of our visiting chefs help develop the skills of our St. Croix Career & Technical Center (CTEC) culinary students which in the instance of Ms. Boyd and Mr. Tutein helped them earn an internship and ultimately a job at Facebook," Dewey added.

Boyd and Tutein, who were culinary students of CTEC, earned the internship opportunity at Facebook which led to their jobs as a result of their volunteering to learn from and work alongside guest chefs during the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, an annual series of events that raises funds for the St. Croix Foundation.  Each year, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience invites celebrated chefs to participate in the fundraising with the Facebook culinary team joining the event in 2013.

CHTA Education Foundation 

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation  (CHTA EF) was established in 1987 as a stand-alone non-profit / tax-exempt organization, through which scholarships and special assistance would be made available for the education of Caribbean hotel industry personnel and students pursuing careers in tourism.

As part of its mission, the Education Foundation provides people throughout the Caribbean region with an awareness of the industry's varied career opportunities, as well as technical and professional development.

Since 1987, the Education Foundation has awarded approximately US$2 million in scholarships and grants to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to the hotel and tourism industry.

The Education Foundation is also active in supporting Haitian students & industry personnel following the devastating earthquake in January 2010 by facilitating a holistic Spoken English/ Practical Hospitality Skills training project in Port au Prince, leading to Haitian students moving to various Caribbean colleges to study for their Associates and Bachelors degrees, so able to return home and be major catalysts in the uplift of Haitian tourism. For more information, visit or , call (571) 436-4386 or email .

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