NAF Academy of Hospitality and Tourism students, Ahmed Middlebrooks, Homestead Senior High, and Sabrina Mosqueda, Miami Beach High were the first awardees of the $10,000 George Neary Academic Excellence in Education Award. Recipients were selected for $1500 scholarships awarded through the generosity of George Neary, retired GMCVB Associate VP, and member Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (AOHT) Advisory Board. Ahmed Middlebrooks described his internship at the Hotel Intercontinental as “nothing short of amazing.” He plans to study hospitality & tourism management at Miami Dade College. Sabrina Mosqueda assisted in work-based learning events with the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Miami Children’s Museum and the Miami Seaquarium and plans to study at the University of Miami.

George Neary announced this award to promote inclusion and diversity in building tomorrow’s hospitality & tourism workforce. A long-time industry leader and winner of the South Florida Tourism Professional of the Year and numerous accolades Neary continues to promote work-based learning and workforce development for public high school students.