D'Andra Collinder

D'Andra Collinder
First Name
Last Name

Msc. Hospitality and Tourism Management

UWI, Mona, Jamaica

In the summer of 2014, I made the difficult decision to take a leave of absence from my studies in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona in Kingston, Jamaica. This was primarily due to my inability to pay for my tuition.  

Uncertain of how to spend my time off from school compounded with the reality that I was now recently jobless, I decided to contact the Caribbean Tourism Organization, New York to express my interest in doing an internship. 

I honestly believed the organization would have told me “no”, since I was all the way in Jamaica. However, to my surprise they responded within a week and told me sure I could come. I was over the moon.

Even then, I was not quite sure if I would have been able to go because I had a two year old son and doing an internship in New York would mean that I would not have been able to take him with me.  The decision to leave my young child behind proved to be an even more difficult one to make. However, I did and it turned out to be a great sacrifice and if I may add one of my better decisions to date. 

With the support of my family, I journeyed to New York.  I had two incredible months working experience at CTO. I learned so much and I bonded with great people who became my friends. 

Close to the end of my internship, Ronald Allen, a former employee of CTO encouraged me to apply for a scholarship via the CTO Foundation as he thought I would have been a great candidate. So I took his advice and here I am today, a proud graduate.  

I was granted a $5000 USD scholarship to complete my studies at the master’s level which would not have been possible without the financial encouragement I received from the CTO Foundation. 

My programme at UWI was phenomenal. Despite my initial challenges, I enjoyed my time as a student. I learned a lot and thanks to CTO Foundation I believe I am more competitively equipped to be successful in life.

The Foundation has been doing great service over the years in helping many students to achieve their dreams. As such, I hope that the Foundation continues to be supported so that it can truly carry on its legacy.  

Thank you CTO Foundation!

Year of Scholarship