Nevisian Educator is First-Ever Recipient of Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship

Secondary School Teacher Philicia Walters Pursuing Masters in Tourism Management Programme at Colorado State University in United States


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (11 July 2019) - A Nevisian secondary school teacher with a history of success in preparing students for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)'s Tourism Youth Congress has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship.

Philicia Walters, a graduate teacher at Gingerland Secondary School, was chosen by the CTO Scholarship Foundation for this scholarship named in honour of the organisation's former head of human resources who passed away in April 2018 after serving 22 years as the CTO's director of human resources and later, the director of resource mobilisation and development.

"As a recent teacher chaperone of the CTO Tourism Youth Congress, I would have interacted with Bonita Morgan on several occasions and have always been impacted by her dedication and zeal to ensure that the Caribbean's tourism product remains among the best in the world. Furthermore, she was also passionate about making certain that our young tourism ambassadors were aware of the region's diverse contributions. Hence, to be accorded a scholarship in her honour is a humbling experience," said Walters, who is pursuing a Masters Degree in Tourism Management at Colorado State University in the United States.

Since 2011 Walters has been preparing students at her school for the youth congress, two of whom have emerged as winners. She also teaches tourism and delves deeper into tourism concepts as part of her syllabus for her geography and social studies courses.

"I am confident that with the aid of the Bonita Morgan Memorial Scholarship to finalise this aspect of my educational journey, I will be better empowered to assist in the development of tourism in Nevis and the Caribbean by extension," Walters said.

This year the foundation granted five scholarships and five study grants - approximately US$35,000 - from a list of over 60 applications. Among the recipients is Valerie Derosin, a meteorological trainee officer at the Bahamas department of meteorology, who is the first-ever recipient of the Delta Air Lines scholarship for Caribbean nationals interested in pursuing studies in aviation or air transport technologies. Derosin is pursuing an aircraft/airline dispatcher programme that includes U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and National Aviation Administration certification at Jeppesen in Denver, Colorado.

The other scholarship recipients are:

  • Peter Thompson of Jamaica, who's pursuing a BSc. in Tourism Management at the University of the West Indies
  • Nyssa Pierre of Trinidad and Tobago, who's pursuing a destination management graduate certificate at Temple University's School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Johnnel Smith of Jamaica, the recipient of theAudrey Palmer Hawks Scholarship.  


In addition, the foundation approved study grants to Shanel Edmund of Grenada, Christine Gibson of Barbados, Randel Henry and Nigel Peters of Dominica, and Metellus Werlens of Haiti.

The CTO Scholarship Foundation offers assistance to individuals who demonstrate high levels of achievement and leadership both within and outside the classroom and who express a strong interest in making a positive contribution to Caribbean tourism.

Individuals who wish to make a contribution to the CTO Scholarship Foundation can do so via its GoFundMe page at Corporations interested in participating with the Scholarship program should contact Sylma Brown at CTO directly: Tel: (212) 635-9530; E-mail:

The CTO Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (C)(3) entity established in 1997 with the aim of training and developing future leaders for the Caribbean tourism industry by funding studies in tourism and tourism-related subjects, hospitality and language. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over US$1 million in scholarship funds and has provided over 280 grants and scholarships.