UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management recently hosted more than 190 high school students on campus to introduce them to careers in hospitality and tourism.

The college teamed up with the Central Florida National Academy Foundation to host the fourth-annual High School Conference and Tradeshow for students from six high schools in Orange, Lake and Brevard counties. Each of the participating schools has academies geared toward hospitality and tourism.

The event took place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rosen College campus near International Drive on Friday, Nov. 18.  Rosen College’s Joshua Johnson serves as the chair of the NAF Academy of Hospitality and Tourism for Orange County Public Schools and described the day as both a great event and a huge success.

Its theme, “Hospitality is Sweet!,” featured: a tour of the campus; an educational exhibitor showcase; and break-out sessions about risk management, resume and interviewing tips and other topics.  Participants enjoyed a presentation from the keynote speaker, Gatorland’s Mark McHugh, and representatives from Visit Orlando, Wire-Free LED, Nickelodeon Suites Resort, UCF/Rosen College Undergraduate Admissions, SeaWorld, Johnson & Wales University and AAA shared industry information and addressed questions from the high school students.

Students participating in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism from Mid Florida Tech, Freedom High School, Colonial High School, Oak Ridge High School, Rockledge High School and Merritt Island High School were invited to attend. Rosen College Event Management students in Instructor A’Rion Raymond’s class organized the event.

Robin Cascio, a senior majoring in Event Management and a student in Raymond’s class, shares: “This event provides high school students interested in hospitality a personal introduction to educational and future employment opportunities. The interactive sessions help expand upon and reinforce their current studies. The conference offers an environment for the students to ask questions and learn more about the industry.”

Pat Novalis with Mid Florida Tech’s Hotel and Resort Business Management program shared, “Our sincere thanks to Rosen College and all the students involved in making this such a great day for us.”  Novalis put together this online scrapbook of the event.

The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is an acclaimed national network of high school career academies predominately based in urban districts — schools within schools — with rigorous, career-themed curricula created with current industry and educational expertise. Each year, NAF serves more than 50,000 students in 40 states and the District of Columbia through the Academy of Finance, the Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, and the Academy of Information Technology.  For more information, visit www.naf.org.