Congratulations to Hillary Hospodar for winning this years Hospitality Scholarship!
Hillary Hospodar graduated in May of 2017 Cum Laude from Estero High School. She was an integral part of the Hospitality and Tourism Academy all four years, serving as Student Ambassador. One of her most meaningful achievements in high school was being selected for the Hyatt High School Summer Bridge Program where she engaged in hands-on community based learning and received training from industry professionals on various resort and hospitality topics. In addition to furthering her education, Hillary also enjoys giving back to the community and has volunteered her time with the Salvation Army, Heritage Nursing Home, and Path2Freedom. She is looking forward to continuing her education at Florida Gulf Coast University and hopes to one day own her own business.
- Tell us a little about yourself and what you want to accomplish in your life.
I want to attend college, earn my degree, and eventually own my own hospitality business.
- How will your study of the hospitality industry contribute to your immediate or long range career plans?
Studying the hospitality industry will fulfill my dream of a college degree and provide the education to pursue my own business.
- Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your field of study.
One of the most meaningful achievements in high school was being selected for the Hyatt High School Summer Bridge Program where I engaged in hands-on community based learning and received training from industry professionals on various resort and hospitality topics.
- State any special personal or family circumstances affecting your need for financial assistance.
I have always wondered how I will ever pay for college. Going to college has become exceedingly strenuous due to its expensive costs. Because of this, it has constantly been a difficult subject for me. I was born into an unhealthy, poverty-filled life. My mother, with her second-grade education, did the best she could for my younger sister and me. My mother fell extremely ill with brain cancer and leukemia and passed away when I was young. Although I plan to work while attending college, financial assistance will still be necessary.
- Who in your life has been your biggest influence and why?
Despite losing my mom when I was young, her words still influence me every day. As my mother lay dying in my arms, she told me two things, which became the most impactful words I ever heard. The first was to always take care of my sister, and the second was to never let anything stand in the way of me getting an education.
- How has your family background affected the way you see the world?
Regardless of my circumstances, I know that with hard work and dedication I have the ability to overcome anything that comes my way.
- Do you plan to look for a part time job to earn extra money while studying?
- In your essay you stated that, “[This education will] give me the chance to speak to and get to know the professional leaders of my community”. Who are you looking forward to meeting?
Business owners, people who have come from nothing and worked hard to achieve their dreams. I love listening to the stories of brilliant people and how they overcame the darkness and made something out of them self.
- Is there anyone you would specifically like to work with?
Business owners who know the value of hard work.
- I see you've accomplished some amazing things in your short life. In what areas do you think you can improve?
Connect with others to create something that will help shape or impact our future.
- Do you have anything else to add?
Thank you for selecting me and for your generosity.