Sandals has announced a new tourism and hospitality scholarship named in honour of the Caribbean resort giant’s founder, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
The scheme will be funded via contributions to the non-profit Sandals Foundation and will seek to develop "the next generation of Caribbean tourism leaders".
Butch’s son Adam Stewart, Sandals Resorts International’s newly-appointed executive chair, announced the scheme on Tuesday (2 February).
"My father fiercely believed in the power of possibility," said Stewart. "He understood and celebrated the ability of people to rise above their potential and accomplish great things.
"This scholarship’s core mission is to ensure a strong future for the Caribbean hotel industry by fuelling the talent pipeline with opportunity – a true reflection of my father’s passion for the region and its potential.
"That’s why I am delighted to honour his memory and the example he set by empowering our team members to dream big and dream bright.”
The scholarship is available to full-time members of the Sandals team, based on their financial needs and means, personal attributes, and success in their current role.
Recipients of the scholarship will be eligible to receive funding for an up to four-year college programme in hospitality and tourism, supported by the Sandals Corporate University and local education partners.
Applications will open on 1 June.
“When we launched the Sandals Foundation in 2009, we did so to put a formal face to the philanthropic efforts my father championed since he opened the doors of Sandals Montego Bay in 1981," said Stewart.
"It’s my honour now to ‘formalise’ this scholarship in his name, cementing his passion for mentorship and his profound desire to elevate the promise of the Caribbean."
Sandals is also calling for people to donate to the foundation to support its marine conservation efforts.
These include creating and managing coral nurseries and marine sanctuaries, and partnering with local community groups to boost mangrove and turtle conservation.
The foundation will also continue to work with local schools and educators to integrate marine education into the curriculum through hand-on field trips and engage youngsters living in coastal communities.