Teenager dreams big after winning tuition reimbursement from resort

A Caymanian teenager is taking the first small steps toward achieving his dream of running his own Caribbean hotel chain. 

Michael Kellyman, 19, has been selected by The Reef Resort in East End as the winner of its 2013 scholarship. Mr. Kellyman is spending his summer as an intern at The Reef before returning to his second year at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is pursuing a degree in travel and tourism management with a concentration on hotel management. 

The resort will pay for Mr. Kellyman’s tuition over the next three years and provide him with a summer internship at The Reef, where he will have the opportunity to work in all departments and gain a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the business.  

“I want to learn everything on how to run a hotel,” Mr. Kellyman said. 

“You are constantly interacting with tourists, you learn about their culture and you can teach them about your own culture, it’s all about learning and teaching.”  

Mr. Kellyman was selected as this year’s 2013 scholarship winner for his excellence in education, his strong background in the food and beverage industry, water sports industry and customer service, as well as his overall passion for the tourism industry, according to a news release from the resort. 

“Michael has a genuine passion for the tourism industry and his commitment and willingness to do school break internships in a wide variety of hospitality and tourism were key to his being awarded this scholarship”, said Cindy Abrahams, corporate services and human resources director.  

“We encourage Caymanian youth to consider a career path in this industry because it opens up vistas and a whole world literally.” 

Mr. Kellyman said the education he receives at The Reef and in school will only help him fulfil his dream of owning his own hotel. 

“I want to build a hotel chain throughout the Caribbean,” Mr. Kellyman said. “Each hotel will benefit that specific community and be unique to the individual island.”