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Joseph J. Canfora Hospitality Scholarship

2 winners, $2,500 each
Application Deadline
Apr 14, 2022
Winners Announced
May 15, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate student
First-generation student
Underrepresented minority (BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+)
Field of Interest:
Has hospitality internship or entry-level job

Learning that takes place in the classroom is valuable and an important part of receiving a good education, yet a lot of important skills can only be learned outside of the classroom. 

Technical skills and people skills are critical attributes that one must have in order to achieve success in the hospitality industry. While academic drive is important, it is also critical for students to have the drive to learn about the day-to-day operation of the hospitality and service industries in order to truly prepare for their careers.

This scholarship seeks to support underrepresented minority students who are interested in pursuing careers in the hospitality industry and have already started gaining real-world experience.

Any first-generation undergraduate student who is an underrepresented minority (BIPOC, women, or LGBTQ+ students), interested in hospitality, and has an internship or entry-level job in the hospitality industry may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, describe the moment(s) when you realized you wanted to pursue the hospitality industry and tell us why the field interests you.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 27, 2021
Essay Topic

Describe the moment(s) you knew the hospitality industry would be your career path. Why does it intrigue you?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Dayana Garzon Lagos
University of DelawareGeorgetown, DE
As a first-generation student, I have had to search for opportunities, explore my interests, and choose a career where I could express myself and feel comfortable in my abilities. The further I explored my interests, I realized the hospitality industry was a perfect fit for me. I knew that having a career in the hospitality industry would allow me to meet new people, create connections, and create an unforgettable experience for others. I found the passion I had for hospitality when I was determining my technical area for high school. My high school had many different areas I could choose from, but I feared choosing the wrong one and that I would be the only minority in my area. However, once I met my hospitality teacher during the exploration of the technical area, my heart immediately knew where I belonged. My high school hospitality teacher had over 15 years of experience in the industry and had many connections that she would introduce to her students. She quickly became someone I admired and looked up to. She was hard-working, detail-oriented, and made every experience in her classroom unforgettable. Not only were the classroom experiences unforgettable, but she gave us a taste of the hospitality industry. We visited country clubs, casinos, planned events, and worked an event at a golf course. If she was able to be a successful female leader in the hospitality industry, which is dominated by males, I knew I could do it too. While I have been learning about the hospitality business industry since my freshman year in high school, I am still unsure what sector I would like to take my career to. So far, I have explored the restaurant industry where I have worked for Chick Fil A as a team leader and at Panera Bread as an associate. From working in the restaurant industry, I learned that I enjoyed constantly being on my feet, delighting the guests, and meeting different people. This summer I will be exploring the rooms division sector of the hotel industry at the Chesapeake Bay. This new opportunity will allow me to explore more of the hospitality industry, gain experience, and narrow down what I would like to do for my career. My aspirations with my major is to search for internships throughout my four years of college and hopefully have explored the different sectors in the hospitality business industry. By the end of my junior year, I hope to have found a job in the industry where I can work once I graduate. From there, I hope to climb the ladder and be a female leader in the industry while providing wonderful experiences for all guests!
Mia Moy
University of DenverNAPA, CA
What is hospitality? As a person in that major, I get the question all the time. And most people think it has something to do with hospitals. I thought It was self-explanatory but I realized It could mean something different for every person and that was so fascinating to me because It was true hospitality has so many different meanings. It took me a while to come up with an answer for that question but I've finally settled on what I think hospitality is. It's the industry that is designed to make people's life's a little bit better. I’ve grown up in the Napa Valley, where the hospitality industry thrives, and I’ve seen all aspects of what goes into this field of work. I know the ups and downs of every day that goes into it, as a hostess at a restaurant in a busy union station, as a kitchen assistant in the back of the house, and as a coach training young kids. I can honestly say even now that I’ve fallen in love with every part of it, and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else than in this field. My mom is a professional chef and caterer, and I’ve helped her plan and execute events on all scales and even taken on small events by myself. I loved the way events and hospitality worked from the planning to the food garnish. It was a masterpiece, an experience worth a thousand items, and simply a fun environment. It was work that was worth It. It was creating an experience for people and that was something I knew I wanted to be a part of. I fell in love with hospitality when I realized that my extra efforts and small gestures made a difference to people. I had thrown a birthday party for one of my close friends. And the way she looked when she entered the room was something I will never forget. I had decorated the room in her favorite colors and prepared a night I knew she would love. She was speechless and in awe when she saw the special touches that I had done. A tear rolled down her cheek, and she had the biggest smile. I realized that I wanted to live in that moment as many times as I could, creating that experience for everyone I could. The hospitality business is all about giving people your hard work and personality to make their dreams come true and make their moment in the spotlight just a little bit brighter! I truly couldn't imagine doing anything else in my life.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 14, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 15, 2022.

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