My Personal Connection to the Hyatt Summer Bridge Program

By on August 13, 2013

In 5th grade, I received a full academic scholarship to The Ohio State University.  I wish that I could tell you that I was the next “Doogie Howser” (Millennials, you may need to google that reference), but the scholarship I received was as a result of “The Young Scholars Program”. The Young Scholars Program (YSP) was founded in 1988.  The program was designed to identify and track academically gifted minority Ohio youth that were first generation college students.

Each summer my “Young Scholar” peers and I would invade Ohio State’s campus.  We would live in the dorms, take classes in actual college classrooms, and have a taste of collegiate life for 2 weeks.  This meant campus dining, washing your own laundry, and writing letters home.  Although I didn’t realize it then, each summer I spent on campus prepared me for the day when I was actually a college freshman at The Ohio State University – one of the largest universities in the country.  I came to college, with a group of established friends, a familiarity with the campus, and a support system.

Speaking of support system, this is probably a good time for me to thank Mr. Ron Parker, one of the YSP Program Directors.  After a less than impressive academic quarter my freshman year (too much fun, and not enough studying), he called my Mom and actually told on me!  I was probably the only college freshman grounded during Christmas break, but that phone call got me back on track.  I was less than grateful for his action at that time, but today I can say “thank you”.

My experience as a “Young Scholar” is the reason why upon graduation, I had to work for an organization that valued education and provided opportunities for others to advance themselves personally.  It is also the reason why the “Hyatt Summer Bridge Program” means so much to me.

In 2011, Hyatt launched the “Hyatt Summer Bridge Program” in partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Hospitality Management Consortium.  Designed to promote higher education and expose minority and under-served youth to career paths within the hospitality industry, the “Hyatt Summer Bridge Program” provides students with experiences similar to my own.

This year, Hyatt sponsored bridge programs at Bethune-Cookman University, Delaware State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, North Carolina Central University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Virginia State University.  More than 75 students participated in this summer’s sponsored programs.

During the week-long immersion program, these students lived on campus; experienced actual college classes, completed seminars on etiquette, food sustainability, entrepreneurship, professionalism, personal branding, and financial planning.

They also had the opportunity to envision the future available to them if they chose to obtain a college education and pursue a career within hospitality.

Thank you to our Hyatt properties that partnered and supported the programs in their areas, specifically Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Grand Hyatt Atlanta, and Hyatt Coconut Plantation.

To learn more about Hyatt’s efforts in the area of Education & Personal Advancement, click here:





About Ronisha

One of Hyatt's Regional Talent Acquisition Managers, Ronisha recruits for Hyatt's College Programs and supports our full-service locations within the East Coast and Midwestern regions of the United States. A lover of all things "social", you can follow her on Twitter at @ronishagoodwin