Hospitality Management students embrace community service!
Since Camosun's Hospitality Management program entrenched social responsibility and sustainable practices within the core curriculum of this popular Hospitality industry program, students have combined ingenuity and business acumen in ways that continue to astound their instructors and earn community appreciation. The two examples that follow, Wear 2 Start and Dinner at Our Place, demonstrate the social impact our students have in community, and the legacy they leave behind.
WEAR 2 START project wins province-wide challenge
Project Change is an annual province-wide competition that challenges BC tourism and hospitality students to create a social or environmental stewardship project that fulfills a community need. The Camosun team of second-year students Tony Guo, Andrew Weir, Lindsey Melis and Cheryl Yamanaka embraced the challenge and approached Victoria-based Wear 2 Start with their community service proposal.
Wear 2 Start is a small not-for-profit group that outfits unemployed women for job interviews, and they were grateful for the Camosun help, which came just in time for their annual fundraising drive. The students' proposal seemed simple enough: collect donations of cash, high-end business attire, toiletries and cosmetics through a combination of two fundraising dinners, business sponsorships and plain old networking and negotiations. The result was overwhelming, and brought in over $800 in cash donations and nearly 1,100 items of clothing, toiletries and cosmetics that will go a long way to help women living in poverty prepare for interviews and careers. The students even included a sustainability element to their project, thanks to a partnership with local coffee shops that will serve as Wear 2 Start donation drop-off sites.
The project took top prize of "Best Project Overall," which was awarded at the Project Change awards gala, held February 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. "This project taught us that as entrepreneurs, we can be agents of positive social change," says Cheryl Yamanaka. "We are so proud that we could contribute to such a worthwhile local cause." The Camosun team also garnered the People's Choice Award, and team member Andrew Weir was recognized as the top networker at the event sponsored by LinkBC, the tourism and hospitality education network.
Wear 2 Start president Deep Cheema expressed her appreciation saying, "We are a small organization with a big mandate. It is remarkable that Cheryl, Lindsay, Tony and Andrew came to us when they did. We couldn't have met our fundraising targets without them!"
Dinner at Our Place-serving 600!
For the second consecutive year the first-year class of Hospitality Management students prepared and served a two-course plated gourmet meal for 600 guests of Our Place Society in downtown Victoria. The students took on leadership roles in planning, organizing, and executing the event. Faculty and staff played a supporting role, but the students operationalized the feast.
Now embedded as a part of the Integrated Restaurant Management course, this event reflects Camosun's mandates of supporting life-changing learning, engaging communities and contributing to sustainable organizations. More importantly, it provides students with an invaluable life experience in social responsibility.
Program leader David Armstrong says, "The event was positive from start to finish, and we all felt privileged to be a part of it."
Students, staff and faculty would like to thank Laurel Point Inn, Islands West Produce and Sysco Foods for their generous contributions, and Our Place Society for the invitation to serve.
Last updated: February 9, 2012 9:29 am