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Change starts for twenty

Franschhoek Hospitality Academy co-founders Michaela Julian and Tarryn Corlett cut the ribbon to mark the official start of the academy’s activities. The class of 2018, project ambassadors, supporters, friends and parents look on.

Franschhoek Hospitality Academy

The first class of the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy gathered on 15 January. For the 20 selected students – who were joined by donors, project ambassadors, academy founders, parents and other well-wishers – it could be the start of making their dreams come true. It was therefore appropriate, one attendee remarked, that the event took place on Martin Luther King Day as he also had a big dream.

Academy co-founder Michaela Julian in her opening remarks referred to the difficulty that local establishments have in finding qualified staff, which realisation led to the idea of founding a local hospitality training academy little more than a year ago.

Addressing the students Michaela pointed out several local hospitality industry pioneers in the room and told the students that they too can be like them one day. She urged the students to remain humble, to persevere and believe in themselves, as they were pioneers in their own right, having been selected from many applicants.  Michaela also announced that the two top students will have the opportunity to go study at ITM (International Hotel &Tourism Management) Private College in Austria next year. All expenses paid.

Academy manager and trainer, Jeremy Davids, said that he looks forward to not only teaching the students, but also to learn from them and assured them that while they will work hard, they’ll also have fun.  He concluded by reminding the students that “With discipline and the right attitude the sky is the limit.”

The academy’s ambassadors also shared some thoughts with the class and attendees. Matthew Gordon pointed out that co-founders Michaela Julian and Tarryn Corlett succeeded where others have tried and failed.  Margo Janse pointed out how lucky the students were to attend the hospitality academy, as she never attended anything similar. Reuben Riffel, who several students listed as a role model, reminded the students that he faced some of the same challenges they face. Chris Erasmus urged the students to work hard, but also to remember that the ambassadors “have your backs” and that he would be their first lecturer the next day!

Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO, Reinher Behrens, recounted his first meeting with Michaela and Tarryn and thinking that the plan they presented was Germanic in its thoroughness.  It was therefore not surprising, he said, that they achieved a great deal in a relatively short time.

The Franschhoek Hospitality Academy would like to thank the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Franschhoek Wine Valley, Hein Koegelenberg from La Motte and Leopards Leap, the Frank and Mary Rodrigues Foundation, Lobster Ink, Cloud One, Knightsbridge, Franschhoek retailers, wineries and restaurants, Ashanti Estate, their staff, parents and partner organisations: Hope through Action and Score.

“2018 is set to change the lives of 20 deserving students in Franschhoek, bringing hope and light into what we hope would be a very bright future for all,” concludes Tarryn.