The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has teamed with the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) to support restaurant and foodservice industry diversity efforts and the development of its future leaders by awarding five undergraduate students with $2,000 scholarships to further their education in the industry.

Scholarship recipients attended MFHA’s National Symposium held on October 6th, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia and received their awards from NRAEF representative Xavier A.Teixido, of Harry’s Savoy Grill in Wilmington, Del. These scholarships represented the African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American student population.

“As the premier provider of educational resources, materials and programs contributing to the restaurant and foodservice industry’s growth, workforce development and customer satisfaction, it is critical that the NRAEF recognizes and embraces diversity in students pursuing careers in our rewarding industry,” Mary M. Adolf, president and chief operating officer of the NRAEF, said in a press release. “These five deserving individuals were chosen because they not only have the commitment and passion to be tomorrow’s industry leaders, but they understand that a diverse workforce is imperative for our dynamic industry to remain the cornerstone of career-and-employment opportunities.”

“It is exciting to see such bright young people who want to work in our industry,” Gerald A. Fernandez, president and founder of the MFHA, said in the release. “These students are so focused, dedicated and professional that the future of our industry is in good hands.”

To earn this prestigious award, students must currently be enrolled in an accredited college offering a hospitality management curriculum, have completed at least one semester in a restaurant and/or foodservice related program and be performing at a GPA level of 2.75 and above. In addition, these students must have logged a minimum of 750 hours of work experience in the restaurant and/or foodservice industry.

The following students were awarded $2,000 NRAEF/MFHA diversity scholarships:

Sheng Yang – California State University, Long Beach, Calif.
Jennifer Kerr – Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cincinnati, Ohio
Luis Cortez – California State University, Long Beach, Calif.
Michael Belton – Johnson & Wales University, North Miami, Fla.
Derrick Floyd – University of New Orleans, New Orleans, La.

The NRAEF has set aside a substantial amount of money in scholarships for students who have demonstrated a commitment to continuing their restaurant and foodservice education and are pursuing a career in the industry. The Scholarships and Mentoring Program is funded through annual events, corporate and individual contributions and earnings from NRAEF products and services. Over the past six years, NRAEF has awarded more than $6.5 million in scholarships to more than 4,000 deserving students and educators.

To learn more about the NRAEF’s Scholarships and Mentoring program, visit or call 312.715.1010 in Chicagoland or toll-free at 800-765-2122.