Ella Bennion (R), STHM Student Internship Coordinator, attends to interested youths at the Community Youth “Make It Count” Expo.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) recently participated in the Warwick Community Youth “Make It Count” Expo.
The inaugural expo which was organised by Warwick Hotels and Resorts invited representatives from Tertiary, Technical and Trade Schools and Colleges to meet with youths and parents from Fiji’s Coral Coast region.
It was aimed at assisting young people for future careers by taking the appropriate and relevant educational pathways.
Ms Ella Bennion, STHM Student Internship Coordinator, partnered with Warwick Fiji, in providing advice to participants and illustrating the range of programmes offered by STHM.
“The Expo was a great success and achieved its purpose. It was wonderful to see the Turaga- ni- koro from each village and some parents attending to support their children and the initiative,” she mentioned.
According to Ms Bennion, without the support of community leaders, such initiatives lose their momentum.
She added that “there is a real need for the institutions to take education to the community”.
Following the Expo, Ms Bennion also held an informal session with families at Votualailai village. Parents in particular were especially appreciative of this approach, as it encouraged them to think deeply about the importance of supporting their children’s education and future.
Head of STHM, Professor Marcus Stephenson, stated that “this event represents community engagement at its best”.
“This strategic initiative was about education awareness at a very local level and the importance of attaining relevant skill sets for fruitful careers in the service sector. We were proud to work alongside Warwick Fiji on this innovative programme”.
“We have a great relationship with them and do look forward to being involved in more projects in the future”, Professor Stephenson added.
Some of the participating Schools and Colleges included Australia Pacific Technical College, Fiji National University, Monfort Boys and Navuso Agricultural School.
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Honorable Laisenia Tuitubou officially opened the Community Expo.
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