Alliance Abroad has clinched the coveted ‘Best Work Experience Provider’ Award at this year’s Global Youth Travel Awards. The recognition came during the WYSTC conference in Lisbon on September 15th, and it’s safe to say we’re more than a little thrilled.
This honor is a testament to the success of our “Rising Starrs” scholarship initiative in collaboration with the Starr Restaurant Group. The brainchild of Alliance Abroad’s VP of Host Employer Relations Zhanna Saparova, the initiative uplifts and empowers budding female culinary talents from developing nations grappling with gender imbalances. It’s one of our flagship programs to offer life-changing cultural exchange and work experiences to those who most deserve it, and we’re ecstatic that it has been recognized in this way.
Speaking about this innovative project, Saparova says “In the culinary world, women face unique challenges that often go unnoticed. With the Rising Starrs Scholarship, in partnership with the stellar women leaders at the Starr Restaurant Group, we aim to change that narrative, offering a platform where women elevate women to culinary greatness”.
The initiative is further enhanced by the professional training and mentorship being delivered to the participants by senior female members of the Starr Restaurants Group and Business mentors from the Exceptional Women’s Alliance. To equip these aspiring chefs with the tools to flourish as future entrepreneurs and instigate lasting positive impacts in their communities, we’re offering workshops on everything from Business Planning and Project Management to Fundraising and Team Leadership.
The “Rising Starrs” initiative is but a chapter in our overall story. It exemplifies our dedication to providing cultural exchange and work experience while simultaneously enacting positive societal change. By focusing on empowering female culinary talents from developing nations, we’re sending out a clarion call about the importance of gender equity and opportunity.
Alliance Abroad’s commitment extends beyond singular projects. Our holistic approach to global cultural exchange and work experiences has transformed lives, built bridges between cultures, and nurtured future leaders across sectors and geographies. From Summer Work and travel placements in Galveston, Texas, to culinary internships in Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, we’ve always been about creating diverse, inclusive, and innovative opportunities worldwide.
As we appreciate the distinction this award brings, our resolve only strengthens. We’ll continue to innovate, inspire, and, most importantly, invest in the future.
As James Bell, CEO of Alliance Strategies, Alliance Abroad’s parent company, says, “At Alliance Abroad, we don’t just curate experiences, we craft futures. This award isn’t just an acknowledgment of our efforts but a testament to the power of collaboration, passion, and vision. We’ve always believed in breaking boundaries and forging global pathways that empower, educate, and elevate. To have our Rising Starrs Scholarship Initiative recognized by the Global Youth and Travel Awards is heartening. However, our journey doesn’t stop here. We remain committed, now more than ever, to shaping experiences that resonate, transform, and most importantly, make a tangible difference in our interconnected world.”