Chevy Chase, MD. – Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, was a participant in a gathering of senior private and public sector leaders invited to attend The White House Educational Roundtable hosted by President Barack Obama on Monday, July 18, 2011.
As the only hospitality executive invited to join in the discussion about developing strong industry-led partnerships to help transform the American education system and address the school drop-out crisis, Mr. Humler was proud to have the opportunity to share his company’s “Succeed Through Service” initiative. Through this program, employees at all Ritz-Carlton properties mentor under-served inner-city students to inspire them to stay in school and prepare for a productive future by furthering their education.
The White House Educational Roundtable was convened by former U.S. Secretary of State General Colin Powell, who along with his wife Alma, have led America’s Promise Alliance, an organization dedicated to the mission of helping all young people in the United States to stay in school and graduate better prepared for college, a career, and a productive and successful life.
In partnership with America’s Promise Alliance, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company developed “Succeed Through Service” to engage employees at all Ritz-Carlton hotels, residences and destination clubs with a school in a underserved local community. “Succeed Through Service focuses on giving young people a bright future through life-skills training, career exploration, and service-learning projects,” said Humler. “As the name suggests, Succeed Through Service is all about helping young people thrive and inspiring them do their best.”
“Succeed Through Service” has been lauded by General Powell who said “We thank you so much because you’re not only investing in kids, you are investing in the future of our country and the other countries where you are located”.
Following The White House meeting, General Powell announced formation of the America’s Promise Alliance “Community Impact Fund” which will raise funds to stimulate community engagement and investment to help the lowest performing schools in the nation. Mr. Humler was invited to become a co-chair of the effort in recognition of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s outstanding efforts at community educational outreach. He has agreed to host a series of business roundtables to stimulate discussion and initiatives, and donor cultivation events at Ritz-Carlton hotels around the nation. “I am honored to have been asked by General and Mrs. Powell to serve in this role and look forward to providing the assistance America’s Promise Alliance needs to generate more support from corporate America,” he said.
The record of The Ritz-Carlton “Succeed Through Service” program can be seen in comments from youngsters who have participated in workshops, listened to life skills discussions from hotel mentors, and now look forward to reaching their potential with encouragement from this volunteer outreach campaign. “Working with The Ritz-Carlton was an amazing experience because I learned how to make a presentation in a clean and sharp fashion. I also learned the proper skills of social etiquette and how to behave in public,” said Dominiqe Thian, 8th grader at Kenmore Middle School, Arlington, Virginia. Jack Henderson, 8th grader at Sutton Middle School, Atlanta, Georgia added “The Ritz-Carlton has been teaching us many life skills to help us when we’re older. Many kids don’t get this opportunity to learn this stuff. It’s great – these are life skills that will keep us going through our whole life.”
Not only students, but teachers and principals have extolled the impact “Succeed Through Service” has made on their students. From Queens Satellite High School for Opportunity in New York, Mark Melkonian, Principal, where staff from The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park are frequent visitors: “The Ritz-Carlton investment in our students change their position as academic failures to achieving academic and personal service. Their service to better the lives of young people endows them with hope and a new solid foundation for future accomplishments.” At Supai Middle School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sia Chamberlain, Guidance Counselor shared her perspective of the last semester: “It was an experience our students and staff will never forget. All the presenters were excellent in sharing their roles and planting seeds in our students to not be afraid to dream outside their own world. We look forward to the next step in this partnership. The Ritz-Carlton Succeed Through Service program is already impacting and becoming life changing for our students.”
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