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Wakefield student receives scholarship from MCCA

Posted by Christina Jedra  May 31, 2013 03:09 PM

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Erin McConnell.jpg

Erin McConnell, a 2013 scholarship recipient poses with her mom and dad, David and Jane McConnell; MCCA executive director, James E. Rooney; City Councilor Stephen Murphy; and State Representative Nick Collins.

The following was submitted by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority: 

James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), awarded $120,000 in community grants and $10,000 in academic scholarships to 24 Boston nonprofits and four Massachusetts hospitality students at the Authority’s annual awards luncheon today. In addition, the MCCA plans to donate $10,000 from the Community Partnership Grants fund to One Fund Boston in support of the victims of the April 2013 Boston Marathon tragedy. 

The awards were distributed as part of the MCCA’s Community Partnership and Hospitality Scholarship Fund, a two-part program established and sponsored by the MCCA and former State Senator Jack Hart. The program is funded by revenue generated from consumer shows held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The goal of the program is for all of Boston’s neighborhoods to benefit from the work of the MCCA as well as to provide workforce development support for Massachusetts students entering the hospitality industry.

North Shore Community College student, Erin McConnell, of Wakefield was one of the four Massachusetts students who received a $2,500 academic scholarship from the MCCA.  She just finished her first year as a Hotel Management major at North Shore Community College.    

“It is imperative for an organization like the MCCA to encourage students to pursue careers in the ever-growing hospitality industry,” said Rooney. “These are our future hospitality providers and we could not be happier help local students reach their goals of working in an industry that directly impacts the work of our convention centers here in Boston.” 

McConnell became interested in the hospitality industry during repeated trips to a hotel in Cape Cod, Mass., where she began observing the inner workings of the hotel.  She decided to study hotel management and began working at the Sonesta Extended Stay Suites in Burlington, Mass.  Her duties there include working the front desk, where she makes guest reservations, takes care of check-ins and check-outs, and greets and interacts with guests.  Her favorite part of her job is getting to know the guests on a more personal level to make their experience in the extended stay property the best it can be.  She has plans to eventually work in the catering and sales department of a hotel, where she would be able to plan weddings, conventions, meetings, and other big functions.   

“I am working full time in what I want to do for the rest of my life as well as going to school to better my education, knowing this is the right journey for me,” said McConnell. 

Since the Community Partnership Grants & Hospitality Scholarships program launched in 2007, the MCCA has awarded more than $647,845 in grants to dozens of non-profit organizations in Boston as well as $65,000 in academic scholarships to local students.

About the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority owns and oversees the operations of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA and the Boston Common Parking Garage.  The BCEC and Hynes have earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines.

In 2012, the MCCA hosted 245 events at the BCEC and Hynes with 654,119 attendees, generating 561,279 hotel room nights and $656 million in economic impact. The MCCA is currently in the midst of its Top 5 campaign to launch Boston into the top five convention destinations in North America. For more information, go to www.t5boston.com.

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