The AHLA Foundation’s Empowering Youth Program and its related training partnerships bring together hotels and local community-based organizations to work with Opportunity Youth— individuals between the ages of 16 to 24 years old who are neither working nor in school and looking to take a  step forward in their careers. Our partners help train students and equip their graduates with the skills, tools, and opportunities required to thrive in exciting and diverse  hospitality careers. Through employer support, these students receive a first-hand look at the numerous job opportunities available to them within the hospitality community. The AHLA Foundation relies on hotel employer engagement to bring all its youth training partnerships to life through:
•    Guest speakers on hotel industry and career pathways
•    Hotel property tours
•    Work-based experiences
•    Mock interviews
•    Hiring fairs

  • Orlando
  • Los Angeles
  • New Orleans
  • Washington DC

Community-based organizations that are interested in additional information should contact Kelly Vazquez,

See our Empowering Youth Program one-pager and toolkit for employers

Click here to find out more about our programs. 

To find local community organizations in your area,



  • Qui Solomon

    Cook, Hyatt Regency Orlando

    "By attending second harvest food bank my confidence is at an all-time high, and now I believe in myself...I have found a home in hospitality, and I want to thank the AHLA foundation for providing the grant that gave me a new beginning."

    Read About Qui's Story
  • Tevin Barnes

    F&B Specialist, Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

    “Coming from a city where guys give up, I struggled to find my way. This partnership wasn’t a handout; it was an opportunity. It provided me the opportunity to grow, meet new people and get a real career. Now, I can better my children’s lives. To have a job I love is a dream come true."

    Read About Tevin's Story
  • Empowering Youth Graduates

    Orlando, FL

    AHLAF hosted a graduation ceremony and hiring fair for youth in Orlando, FL upon completion of the Empowering Youth Program.

    Read About The Event
  • Jessica H.

    Guest Service Representative, Washington Marriott Georgetown

    "I see a huge difference in my life. It feels unreal to love my job like this. It showed me that no matter where you come from, if you work hard you can get anywhere."

    Read About Jessica's Story
  • Tambre Younger

    Washington, DC

    The AHLA Foundation team recently celebrated 24 talented individuals, including Tambre, who graduated from our DC Hospitality training program and are ready for jobs in the hotel industry.

    Read About The Event

Our donors give generously. We thank them sincerely.

2022 Castell Build & Elevate Sponsors

  • CBRE
  • Waterford hotel group

2021 Donor List

  • ALIS logo
  • Thumbnail
  • G6 Hospitality Logo