MAPCS to Launch Academy of Hospitality and Tourism

April–The See Forever Foundation/MAPCS announces the launch of its Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) for the 2016 -2017 school year. Slated to open in late August, the AOHT will induct its first cohort of students in a ceremony to honor and acknowledge the significance and commitment involved in this undertaking.

Using the NAF model—which has a track record of phenomenal success working with at-risk student populations for over thirty years— the AOHT will enjoy the benefits of operating within a national network of corporate partners and high schools.

Under the umbrella of MAPCS’ Post-Secondary Success Program(s), led by Director, Michael Walker, the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism will expand the school’s capacity to provide students with opportunities for college and career pathways.

See Forever CEO, Dr. Heather Wathington weighed in on the Academy,

“We are delighted to partner with NAF and our DC-Career Academy Network to offer our students more work-based learning opportunities. Our AOHT will introduce our students to exciting careers in hospitality and tourism —- which are two occupational areas that are growing in the District. We’re thrilled to launch this new academy for our students.”

MAPCS Vice Principal, Steven Foster who is also serving as the high school’s administrative representative on the AOHT Design and Implementation team commented,

“In spite of what the challenges life brings them, our students come to us with a wide array of talents and abilities that are sometimes overlooked or underutilized. The Academy of Hospitality and Tourism will not only serve as another option to tap into these skills, but give our students an opportunity to join a booming industry in the metropolitan area. “

Joining Walker to head up the AOHT is, Akoshia Yoba, the newly appointed Director of The MAPCS Career Academy.

Walker had this to say about his growing program.

“The Maya Angelou Schools & See Forever Foundation are proud partners with NAF in launching this initiative that will bring much-needed job preparation and training opportunities to the deserving young men and women enrolled ay Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools.  We selected this particular program through our research into the potential for high growth and high wages opportunities in the future for District residents and look forward to our students embracing this experience.  We believe this initiative will help promote economic growth, job readiness and hope for the students of the Maya Angelou Schools and the communities and families that we serve.

We sincerely thank our school leadership, the boards of both the Maya Angelou Schools and the See Forever Foundation, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and NAF for their support of this project.  I am especially grateful to Dr. Heather Wathington, Chief Executive Office for the Maya Angelou Schools and See Forever Foundation, for her continued support of this and our overarching efforts across the organization to improve the educational and employment outcomes for our students.”

Yoba, a longtime youth educator, service excellence trainer and communications specialist

“I am very excited about this opportunity to work with my wonderful team as we expose our students to the number one private industry in the District—hospitality and tourism. With our staff and growing list of local industry partners, we are looking forward to finding new and innovative ways to motivate, challenge and develop the young people at Maya to become capable and competitive candidates for the colleges and careers of their choosing.

Yoba will have the support of school veteran, Mary Okowi, the former College Readiness Coordinator, who has named the Career Academy Coordinator. Regarding her new role she says: “­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­I am really excited about the opportunity to develop this Academy. This process has been intense, but we are looking forward to our launch in August.”

Applications are currently being accepted for admission to the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. For more information, please email us at or or call 202-379-4335 ext. 1370 or ext. 1122. Check out AOHT’s new page here.