IHLAEF Scholarship Testimonials

"Because of the scholarships that IHLAEF provides, I am able to continue pursuing my education in the hospitality industry. With my education as my foundation, I will be able to get the experience I need in the industry I love that will allow me to learn how to best manage people and run a business. Without their generous scholarships, I wouldn't be able to pursue my dream of opening my own restaurant and farm, and for that, I couldn't be more grateful!" Caitlin Arens, Cornell University 

“The IHLAEF scholarship will help my education by relieving some of the financial burden allowing me to focus on my passion. The generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope that one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as IHLAEF has helped me.” Jasmine Dinkins, Johnson & Wales University 

“The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association has opened so many doors for me via networking opportunities and affording me the ability to focus on my studies. I am so grateful that the IHLAEF sees my potential and enthusiasm for the lodging industry and has awarded me this scholarship. Thank you for this scholarship, I can’t wait to show you what I can do in the future!” Megan Feeney, University of South Carolina 

“I would like to extend my gratitude for the opportunity to be supported by IHLAEF – not only financially but the support from industry professionals that I met with and continue to work with in the industry. These opportunities allow me to not only prove myself and showcase my skills as a future hospitality professional, but also to receive advice that will help me in the future. Learning is everything when it comes to any industry, but you cannot get personal advice from a book – this is what IHLAEF has given me, and I continue aspiring to be the best that I can be. When meeting these professionals, they ask what I want to do and give me advice, motivation, and confidence to achieve my dreams of revolutionizing the hospitality industry by engineering a better guest experience with positive psychology. I am extremely thankful to have the financial support and ability to continue my success within the hospitality industry.” Maxwell Herbert, Kendall College School of Hospitality Management

“The IHLAEF scholarship has given me added confidence in my intelligence and abilities. It has also allowed me to focus more on my studies while knowing that I have helped my family in lowering the financial burden that is often brought on by attending University. Thank you once again for all of your support!” Daren Hooper, University of Missouri 

“IHLAEF has helped to support my education financially, while also opening my eyes to different areas in hospitality and connecting me to many industry professionals. I am thankful to be a part of the IHLAEF community.” Matt Korman, Cornell University 

“IHLAEF has helped me tremendously! This is a very prestigious scholarship, and I'm honored that I was chosen. Being awarded the scholarship helped me financially. I am able to keep moving in the right direction without worrying about my out of pocket costs. I am beyond appreciative; thank you IHLAEF!” Malikha Long, Kendall College 

“The IHLAEF scholarship helps me discover more about the industry everyday through my education at Eastern Illinois University. Thank you for your continued support in not only myself, but in the hospitality industry's future.” Tess McArthy, Eastern Illinois University 

“It is scholarships such as the one I received from IHLAEF that have enabled me to continue my pursuit of becoming a Hospitality Sales professional. Not only did I receive the award, but I was also given invaluable time with professionals that have given me the guidance and "real-world" expertise necessary to make the steps towards graduation. The resources presented to me by IHLAEF have afforded me the opportunity to travel, experience, and continue my hospitality career!” James J. McHenry, Michigan State University

“I am so grateful to IHLAEF and Kimpton Hotels for allowing me to start on my career path. As the youngest of four children to a single mother, I was never quite sure how I would fund my college career. With this scholarship, I can further my education thus furthering my career in the field that I am so passionate about.” Jaclyn Parks, Southern Illinois University

“The IHLAEF scholarship confirms that I am valuable and will allow me to take advantage of all of the opportunities that Purdue offers. I look forward to participating in clubs such as the American Hotel and Lodging Association and volunteering for community service. The scholarship allows me to continue developing my language skills which will improve my daily customer interactions.” Clara Pauker, Purdue University

 “When I started at DePaul, I was unsure of how I would be able to fund my college education. I knew I was dedicated to graduating at DePaul, and I knew I had to find a way to make ends meet. I took it upon myself to apply for scholarships and work numerous jobs. Whenever I receive a scholarship, I always feel incredibly lucky that I was the one chosen to receive that award. It is such an incredible feeling to know that so many people believe in me and want me to succeed. I am grateful for the opportunities that DePaul has given me, and I am even more grateful that I have been given access to additional avenues to fund my college education. Thank you so much for believing in me and my journey at DePaul. It is truly an honor to be given such a prestigious scholarship. I look forward to continuing to grow and learn at DePaul. I hope that one day I can be in a position where I can give back to students, as so many wonderful people have done for me.” Danielle Pinta, DePaul University

 “While the scholarship of course eases the financial burden for my family and myself, it also shows me that all of my hard work is paying off and that the people of IHLAEF believe that I can accomplish my goals. This encouragement means so much to me, and I am incredibly thankful for the scholarship and the opportunity. Thank you to all who are involved and I hope to only make you proud.” Elizabeth Redhead, DePaul University
“The IHLAEF scholarship immensely impacts my ability to pursue my dream of becoming a chef by enabling me to charge into the future unhindered by debt and financial stress. I’m beyond grateful to receive this scholarship, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds”. Ethan Reynolds, Culinary Institute of America 

“The IHLAEF scholarship is going to help me so much as I continue to grow as a hospitality professional in this industry. I will be able to take advantage of everything offered to me while pursuing my dream career without the anxiety of cost associated with this pursuit. I believe it is important to do as much as possible while in school so I can be as prepared as possible upon graduation.” Gabrielle Serpico, DePaul University 

“I have been so thankful to the IHLAEF Scholarship Program which has afforded me the ability to focus on my studies and workload at DePaul while working part-time and keeping my student loans to a minimum. Being an IHLAEF Scholarship recipient has provided me an opportunity to meet and be exposed to many professionals within the industry who are willing to take the time to pay it forward and be a mentor.” Lindsey Wehking, DePaul University

“Receiving a scholarship from IHLAEF will help me get closer to my dream of finishing school and becoming the person I have always wanted to be. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and feel very happy that my hard work and dedication is being recognized.” Andrew Wurtz, Harper College

“It has been rewarding knowing our scholarship contributions have helped several outstanding students in need over the years pursue their dreams in an industry that has been so good to us.” Robert J. Cataldo, Vice-Chairman, Hostmark Hospitality Group