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AHLA Foundation expands program to support HBCU students pursuing hospitality careers 

AHLA Foundation

The travel scholarship program, supported by a grant from the Nareit Foundation, will increase student exposure to commercial real estate career pathways .

WASHINGTON – AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), announced plans to expand its travel scholarship program in partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The opportunity to grow the program, and formally connect HBCU students to the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry, was made possible by a 2023 grant from the Nareit Foundation’s Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) Giving Campaign. 

“HBCUs are an incredible, yet underestimated, resource for talent” said AHLA Foundation President Anna Blue. “Travel scholarships are an important tool for fostering inclusion at the earliest stages and help to increase exposure to the different parts of industry, including hotel and lodging REITs.” 

 AHLA Foundation launched its travel scholarship program in 2023 to increase student exposure to career pathways in hospitality by inviting them to attend industry conferences, including The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Conference, ForWard Conference 2024, the Lodging Conference, and the Hospitality Show. The $85,000 grant from the Nareit Foundation—the philanthropic arm of Nareit—will support HBCU students’ attendance at REIT- and investment-focused events such as the Hunter: Hotel Investment Conference in March and the NYU International Hospitality Industry Conference in June.

HBCU travel scholarships are available for students attending AHLA Foundation-affiliated schools, including Bethune-Cookman University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina Central University, University of the District of Columbia, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Virginia State University. Each school may choose to nominate students to receive these scholarships. Recipients must demonstrate leadership ability and commitment to a future in the hotel and lodging industry, and meet eligibility guidelines.

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