Investing in making college dreams come true
Since 2015, AEF has awarded over $130,000 in scholarships. Annually, AEF offers a scholarship to students from Washington, DC’s ten high school Academies of Hospitality and Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Mass Media, as well as Academy alumni currently enrolled in higher education to continue their studies. Awards are based upon solid academic background, essays, and letters of recommendation.
2023 AEF Scholarship Winners
David Iselin Award for Community Service - Jean-Pierre Roberts, Eastern Connecticut State University (Jackson-Reed '22)
Ray Bennett Scholarship for Leadership - Mattison McDonald (Coolidge ‘23)
Akira Wilson Scholarship for Entrepreneurship - Jennifer Rivera-Martinez (Jackson-Reed ‘23)
AEF Scholarship - Francisco Hernandez-Pineda (Columbia Heights Educational Campus ‘23)
AEF Alumni Scholarship - Cenaria Fells-Watson, Towson University (Columbia Heights Educational Campus '21)
AEF Honorarium - Abide Kao (Columbia Heights Educational Campus '24)
AEF Honorarium - Milan Beverly (Coolidge '23)
AEF Honorarium - Orion Williams (Coolidge '23)
David Iselin Scholarship for Community Service
The David Iselin Scholarship for Community Service is dedicated to the memory of our late Destination DC colleague. In addition to being a very talented young hospitality sales professional, David was a stalwart supporter of the American Experience Foundation and his synagogue here in Washington, DC. His scholarship is awarded annually to an Academy student or alumni who represents David’s commitment in using his talents to make his community a better place.
The scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from David’s parents, Harold and Lauren Iselin.
Ray Bennett Scholarship for Leadership
The Ray Bennett Scholarship for Leadership is dedicated to the memory of our late colleague Ray Bennett, President of U.S. and Canada Franchising of Marriott International. As one of Marriott’s most senior leaders, Ray understood that he had the opportunity to serve as a role model for young people across the business and outside the company. His dedication to helping future leaders succeed included serving as a member of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism Industry Advisory Board for DC Public Schools.
Akira Wilson Scholarship for Entrepreneurship
The Akira Wilson Memorial Scholarship for Entrepreneurship recognizes a student at Jackson-Reed High School who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and entrepreneurship. Akira attended Jackson-Reed, where she was a member of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, and dual-enrolled at Trinity University. Akira interned with Concord Hospitality at the Wharf, and planned to attend Florida State University.
Get to know some of the AEF Scholarship winners
How to Apply
AEF Scholarships are only open to individuals who have attended one of Washington, DC's ten Academies of Hospitality and Tourism, Culinary Arts, or Mass Media or the former Hospitality High School. Scholarships can be used at any higher education institution, including certificate programs, 2- and 4- year undergraduate programs, and graduate programs. Applications open in March and close in early May.
For more information, please contact a staff member at your Academy or Lisa Waldschmitt.