To foster interest in travel, tourism, leisure

Las Vegas Sands and TMCF announce second edition of Hospitality Immersion Program for HBCU Students

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Las Vegas Sands and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) have announced that 15 students representing 10 historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from around the country have been selected to participate in the second annual Sands Hospitality Immersion Program, June 16-22 in Las Vegas. 

Sands and TMCF, a national organization representing the black college community, established the Sands Hospitality Immersion Program to encourage interest in travel, tourism and leisure by exposing HBCU students to the inner workings of the Las Vegas hospitality industry.

The 15 rising junior and senior students selected for the exclusive summer program include Joshua Lee, Alabama A&M University; Waneysha Louissaint, Bethune-Cookman University; Tori Carlisle, Coppin State University; Fatima Diallo, Eli Pearson, Salimah Scott and Morayo Adeyemi, Howard University; Mya Mendoza and Denise White-Scott, Morgan State University; Hizikiel Holloman and Trevor Elliott, North Carolina A&T State University; Christian Nettles, North Carolina Central University; Zora Cunningham, Tuskegee University; Malaysia Jones, Virginia Union University; and Darryl Quick, Jr., Winston-Salem University.

Students are studying a range of majors including business, computer science, communications, finance, hospitality management, information technology, marketing, sales, and supply chain management. They will receive a deep introduction to the travel, tourism and leisure industry and its range of professional positions, to inspire them to consider this field for professional development.

"As a sales and marketing major, this experience will help me to better understand customer engagement," said Zora Cunningham, a Tuskegee University student and immersion program participant. "By understanding this crucial practice in hospitality, I can apply these strategies to broader marketing efforts. This experience will also help me build valuable connections, gain practical insights and develop a deeper appreciation for personalized service and attention to detail."

The multi-day experience is being curated by the Harrah College of Hospitality's Sands Center for Professional Development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Program elements include on-campus learning sessions with college faculty, industry speakers and interactive activities such as a cooking competition led by the college's executive chefs. Over the course of the program, student participants will receive special insider tours of integrated resorts, convention spaces and sports venues.

In addition, students will visit Sands' corporate headquarters to hear from professionals who will outline their experience in a wide range of disciplines and provide insights into the realm of professional services within the hospitality industry.

"The Sands Hospitality Immersion is a transformative initiative designed to give HBCU students unparalleled access and exposure to the dynamic field of hospitality. This program not only broadens their career horizons but also equips them with the essential skills and networks needed to thrive in a competitive industry. By fostering a deeper understanding of hospitality, we are empowering the next generation of leaders to drive innovation and excellence in this vital sector," said Tristin Rainey, senior manager of learning and talent at TMCF.

The program was established as part of the Sands Cares global community engagement program. It is one of the company's education and workforce development initiatives, which include contributions to and partnerships with higher education institutions, funding for scholarship programs, on-property and industry-supported training opportunities for students and hospitality professionals, and mentorship and instruction from company leaders and experts.

"The Sands Hospitality Immersion Program advances two of our core initiatives – helping to build a highly skilled, diverse workforce in the hospitality industry and fostering opportunities and advancement for young people from traditionally underrepresented groups," said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs, who spearheads corporate responsibility initiatives at Sands. "We hope this unique experience will inspire this talented group of students to consider the many opportunities the hospitality industry offers."

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