Thirteen seniors from Gulfport High School recently had the chance
to experience true Southern hospitality at The University of Southern
Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Culinary Arts Academy and hospitality management program hosted
the students of Gulfport High School's Academy of Travel and Tourism
(AOTT) on Feb. 12 in an informative and hospitable day of learning.
High School students had a chance to see and experience first hand,
our facilities, with culinary students in action," said Ernie
Wilson, associate chair and assistant professor of hospitality management
at Southern MissGC.
spoke to them about the industry of travel and tourism and then
about the educational opportunities available to them at Southern
MissGC, culinary students of the academy prepared a buffet brunch
for the high school students.
the hospitality/culinary arts program overview at Southern Miss
Gulf Coast," said 17-year old Chacara Evans, of Gulfport. "I
think Mr. Wilson provided me with plenty of information that I know
I can use."
II, 18, of Gulfport, plans to pursue a career in the business/marketing
field or the culinary arts. He said, "They seem to teach that
instead of being good at something that you love to do, you should
try to be the best at it."
The AOTT is
a part of the National Academy Foundation (NAF), a nationwide non-profit,
school-to-work program with more than 15,000 students in 40 states.
The Gulfport School District is the first in Mississippi to use
the national Academy of Travel and Tourism model. The program is
designed to give students a real "working world" glimpse
of the kinds of careers available in the travel and tourism industry.
student works in a paid internship at a travel/tourism industry
site during the summer between the junior and senior years. Also,
through NAF, students are eligible for many scholarship opportunities
for college. Nationwide, 90 percent of all academy graduates go
on to colleges and universities.
the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, the Southern MissGC Culinary
Arts Academy offers a non-degree granting certificate program that
features a broad based professional culinary arts curriculum.The
purpose of the certificate program is to prepare students for work
assignments across a broad spectrum of culinary areas in different
segments of the travel, hospitality and food service industry.
The AOTT students
also learned that the Southern Miss Department of Hospitality Management
offers a bachelor of science degree in hospitality management that
prepares students for careers in hotel restaurant and tourism management.
The degree can be completed on both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg
School students participating in the event were Linda Baldwin,17;
Alice Carter,18; Latarya Ellis,18; Chacara Evans,17; Niomi Fautner,17;
Darrell Fortenberry,18;Shekeia Gordon,17;Anthony Lynch,18;Christina
McNair,18;Snehal Patel,16;Taneisha Reynolds,17; Danielle Thornton,16;
and Latisha Walker,16.
For more information
on the Southern MissGC culinary arts and hospitality management
programs contact Wilson at (228) 214-3226.