The goal of the Future Leaders of Hospitality Program is to support financially underprivileged students in their pursuit of a career in the hospitality field that will, in turn, establish a pipeline of future leaders in the Las Vegas hospitality industry.
Students are selected for the program based upon academic ability, extracurricular achievements, personal background and financial need. In order to be a part of the program, students must meet the following criteria: (a) senior standing in a Clark County high school; (b) cumulative GPA of 3.0; (c) must plan to attend an accredited post-secondary institution as a full-time student following graduation; (d) must major in hotel/hospitality/culinary management or related program; and (e) must demonstrate financial need.
Program participants are provided with a variety of resources including an academic scholarship. Participants enter into the program as college freshman and remain in the program until graduation. They each receive financial support of between $33,000 to $48,000 over a four-year period that goes toward tuition and other fees (the funds are paid directly to the school). ECF is a proud partner with UNLV and gives preference to applicants attending the university. Students also benefit from the guidance and support of the mentoring offered through the program, which pairs a student and board member together each year for the duration of the student’s education. The mentors provide guidance, support and assistance with job and internship placement upon graduation.
Students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 during their course of study to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Students must attend all of the organization’s events and meetings while in the program. Students must also volunteer for a minimum of 60 hours of community service per year with a minimum of 20 of those hours back to Epicurean Charitable Foundation during their course of study. Students schedule and attend meetings with assigned personal mentor on a regular basis. All of the students are provided with internship opportunities and assistance with job placement after graduation.
The Epicurean Charitable Foundation works in partnership with the Clark County School District to seek out exceptional students committed to furthering their education and skills in hospitality and culinary arts. Outreach is conducted to local high schools. The primary recruiting schools are the career and technical academies and magnet schools, which include Southwest Career & Technical Academy, Southeast Career & Technical Academy, Northwest Career & Technical Academy, West Career & Technical Academy, and Valley High School. The higher education partnerships include: UNLV, Art Institute of Las Vegas, and the Culinary Institute of America.
ECF recently partnered with Dress for Success of Southern Nevada to further enhance our students’ opportunities for professional achievement. Dress for Success will outfit new and current female ECF scholarship recipients with professional attire and image consulting for job interviews throughout Las Vegas, along with providing additional job-readiness tips and skills for the workplace. ECF students will also receive a full week’s wardrobe when they are successful in landing their first job. Dress for Success is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional clothing, employment retention programs and valuable image consulting and interview skills to financially-underprivileged women seeking successful careers.
ECF partners with CDF to further enhance our students’ opportunities for academic achievement. The goals of the CDF’s educational and enrichment programs are to promote multiethnic/multicultural awareness and acceptance within the community; to focus on coordination of outreach support efforts to diverse communities, to respond to and support the professional and educational needs of the disadvantaged. The Cultural Diversity Foundation will be sponsoring many educational programs; computer skills for job readiness, scholarship workshops, and community events such as the annual Educational Taste of Excellence: Wine Tasting, Spirits & Jazz Scholarship Fundraiser, the Golden Hand Service Awards, and Looking Through the Eyes of the Beholder: An artist’s Vision to support our vision and goals.