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Sep 18, 2020

Belize Hotel Association Awards Five Scholarships

The Belize Hotel Association conducted a virtual scholarship ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the private sector tourism organization issued five scholarships—two tertiary level and three secondary level—to students from Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts. The educational assistance covers the duration of the course studies and is awarded to students that have maintained a minimum average of eighty or a three point zero G.P.A.; they must also be under the age of twenty-four and are children of membership employees. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Hotel Association today awarded five scholarships to secondary and tertiary level students as part of its continued commitment to assist the children of its membership employees. Despite the realities of the pandemic, the education of children and the championing of the Belizean product is still of utmost importance, says BHA Director Roanne Badillo. Unfortunately, this year, the Belize Tourism Board could not partner with the BHA for the scholarship programme, but through its established scholarship fund, the association was able to sustain the programme for this year. The funds are acquired through an auction of prizes donated by members of the association.


Roanne Badillo

Roanne Badillo, Director, Belize Hotel Association

“Our scholarship programme assists students who are enrolled to any Belizean high school, sixth form or university. Over the years, the association has held several gala events to raise funds to be able to sustain our scholarship fund. And as you may be aware, we hold both silent and live auctions at our biannual meetings and our annual general meeting. We haven’t hosted this year’s AGM as yet, due to the COVID-19 situation, however, thanks to the generous donations of our members during our last AGM and biannual, we had raised enough for this year’s awards.”


This is the tenth annual scholarship programme, which began back in 2009 and has supported a great number of students in achieving their education goals. BHA President, Ted Tejada says the awardees are being given the opportunity to dream big.


Ted Tejada

Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotel Association

“We need to keep making the best and most rewarding investments we can make which is education for our future. Education is just not a tool to improve your professional prospects, but a medium through which you will expand your outlook on the world, a way to base your experiences and develop your truth.”


Meet the five recipients:


Kyanie Caal

Kyanie Caal, Awardee

“I am from the village of San Roman, Stann Creek District. I will be attending first form at the Independence High School.”


Blythe Thompson

Blythe Thompson, Awardee

“I am currently attending Saint Catherine Academy in the class 3S1. I felt truly grateful to be able to have this opportunity. In addition, I felt accomplished and very proud of myself that I was able to meet the required criteria to be chosen. The relief that I felt is on another level.”


Selene Almendarez

Selene Almendarez, Awardee

“I am currently attending Independence Junior College, first year majoring in tourism. This is my second time receiving a scholarship from the Belize Hotel Association. They actually helped me out in my senior year and they are now helping me out with college. Education is important to me because I want to have a successful future and I want to be able to provide for my family and myself.”


Kyarah Williams

Kyarah Williams, Awardee

“I am on my third year at the University of Belize doing a bachelor’s [degree] in social work. I was able to apply for the scholarship through my dad who works at the Great House. I’ve been on the scholarship since my first year at Saint Catherine Academy so this makes it seven years now.”


Raonie Guerra

Raonie Guerra, Awardee

“I am a student at Sacred Heart College, class 3E; my dad is employed at the Lodge at Chaa Creek. I was really surprised when I was awarded the scholarship from the Belize Hotel Association and this is the first time I have received a scholarship from this association. The dream I have for Belize is for it to become a better country. And for me, I want to become a doctor so I can help those people who are in need.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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