Carnival Gold Scholars Pursue Hospitality Career Dreams at FIU

The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University awards an array of scholarships to students each year, including some that are designated for students who have participated in organizations like DECA.

This November, five of South Florida’s brightest and most promising FIU hospitality students were awarded the opportunity to pursue their dream of launching a career in hospitality management with an $80,000 scholarship each from the Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation.

The Carnival Gold Scholars program, which is in its second year, awards full-tuition scholarships, including room and board, to five students who have demonstrated excellence in hospitality management through programs, competitions and industry-specific internships, such as the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA).

“We are extremely proud of our five new Carnival Gold Scholars and all of their accomplishments that contributed to their earning this honor,” said Linda Coll, executive director of Carnival Foundation. “Congratulations to the students, and we look forward to seeing what their bright futures hold.”

Among them is 18-year-old Deborah Daniela Sanchez. Sanchez, like many FIU students, is the first in her family to attend college in the United States, after her parents moved here from Venezuela in the pursuit of a better future. During high school, Sanchez placed second the Florida DECA Career Development Conference as a co-author of a 30-page manual on operations research.

“This scholarship will allow me to receive the best hospitality management education possible,” Sanchez said. “I am very grateful to Carnival Foundation for investing in me and my academic development. I am now able to dedicate myself completely to my studies, fully develop my professional skills and hopefully contribute to the industry.”

In addition to Sanchez, Destinee Marie Gutierrez, Heissel Veronica Mayorga, Dalila Delisle Pineda, and John Joseph Simpson also were selected to become Carnival Gold Scholars.

Carnival Corporation is one of South Florida’s largest employers and is a major contributor to the South Florida community. Over the past several years it has donated millions to support a variety of organizations in our region. The FIU Chaplin School’s ties with Carnival Foundation began in 2008, when the company pledged a generous gift toward what is now the Carnival Student Center.

“Carnival Foundation has been a long-time supporter of our school and the South Florida community,” said Mike Hampton, dean of FIU’s Chaplin School. “This new scholarship donation allows us to attract and retain the best students, who will be prepared to design, develop and manage the customer experiences of the future. These scholarships demonstrate Carnival Corporation’s commitment to the South Florida community and its continued economic development. We couldn’t be more fortunate to collaborate with Carnival in shaping the future of the hospitality and tourism industry.”

Photo (left to right): Roger Frizzell, Senior Vice President & Chief Communication Officer, Carnival Corporation
, John Simpson, 2015 Carnival Gold Scholar
, Heissel Mayorga, 2015 Carnival Gold Scholar, 
Dalila Pineda, 2015 Carnival Gold Scholar
, Mark B. Rosenberg, President, FIU
, Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation, Linda Coll, Executive Director, Carnival Foundation, 
Deborah Sanchez, 2015 Carnival Gold Scholar
, Destinee Gutierrez, 2015 Carnival Gold Scholar
, Richard Brilliant ’93, Chief Audit Officer, Carnival Corporation, 
Mike Hampton, Dean, Chaplin School

Each cohort of Carnival Gold Scholars is funded by a $400,000 donation, which also helps finance study abroad experiences, place them in internships across the globe and helps prepare them to be leaders in the industry. For more information, visit

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Categories: Career Advice, Choosing A College, College, College & Career Advice, Financial Aid & Scholarships, Hospitality, Job Advice