An atmosphere of pride and excitement prevailed at the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) graduation ceremonies hosted by the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro and the Renaissance Hotel Sao Paulo in October 2012. A total of 50 students went on stage to collect their certificates in the presence of proud family, friends and representatives of participating hotels and local partners.
YCI graduates showed their increased self-esteem and confidence by preparing impactful presentations demonstrating the importance YCI has had in their lives. The audience was delighted by emotive speeches, concerts of Brazilian music, guitar solos and videos showing the students’ best moments during the programme. The group of participants who trained at the Holiday Inn Parque Anhembi wrote a samba (traditional Brazilian music) song that got the whole audience up on their feet. An English translation of the original lyrics in Portuguese:
“We are the YCI from Holiday Inn
We show a willingness to learn and progress
Thinking higher, working in teams,
Doing the right thing and celebrating our differences
What a crazy thing, I did not know
That this course would change my life
Here I found the support I needed
Motivated me to face the day to day”
During the event in Sao Paulo, Mr Francisco Garcia, General Manager of the InterContinental Hotel and Chair of the Youth Career Council welcomed the graduates:
YCI Brazil was first launched simultaneously across six Marriott properties in Costa do Sauipe, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro eight years ago. Since then, several other hotel chains have followed suit. The latest cohort of YCI in Brazil counted with seven participating properties from the hotel chains IHG, Marriott International, Hyatt and Starwood (click here for more details about YCI Brazil).
"It has been an honor to participate as chairman for the YCI Council in São Paulo this year. The programme has been a great success in Brazil and within IHG for the past 7 years. We now have a perfect combination between YCI and IHG Academy, our corporate programme that aims to link our hotels with local education and community bodies around the world to provide real life skills and enhance employment prospects for local people. I am strongly committed to maintaining this sustainable partnership and growing it in Brazil."
Each programme provides over 750 training hours through a combination of theoretical and practical instruction, including mentoring in life and work skills, with most of the teaching coming from senior hotel managers and highly experienced associates (click here find out more about the YCI model).
Supporting YCI to achieve its objectives and success, not-for-profit organisations help to identify and select the most deserving candidates from local schools and deprived local communities. They also provide supplementary lectures, whilst other business sectors are invited to showcase job opportunities that participants could pursue upon graduation, given the transferable skills they learn through YCI. This cohort was supported by Aldeias Infantis SOS Brasil, a member of SOS Children’s Villages in Sao Paulo and the Centre of Digital Inclusion in Rio de Janeiro.
Image below: 2012 YCI Brazil graduates in Sao Paulo