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MCLEAN, Va. - Walk in the footsteps of Galileo in Italy, investigate the effects of invasive species in the Galapagos and brush up on Spanish speaking skills and local culture in Mexico - these are some of the educational trips that 15 deserving teachers will experience this summer, thanks to Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide's 10 distinct hotel brands, and its Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition.
The Teacher Treks program, which launched in January 2013, will fund 15 teachers to travel this summer and experience first-hand the subject they teach, enriching their curriculum and inspiring students to explore the world. Hilton HHonors developed Teacher Treks in partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE), a world leader in international exchange and administrator of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. The program is part of Hilton Worldwide's Travel with PurposeTM commitment to celebrating cultures and the power of travel to build stronger communities.
The 15 winners that will receive funding for their trip include:
- Diana D'Emeraude, River Place Elementary School in Austin, Texas, traveling to Japan
- Keith Hannaman, Blue Springs South High School in Blue Springs, Mo., traveling to the Galapagos Islands
- Maria Rodriguez, Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas, traveling to Japan
- Brent Busboom, Reno High School in Reno, Nev., traveling to Europe
- Ashley Dutton, Festus Middle School in Festus Mo., traveling to India
- Andrew Kemp, Martin Luther King Jr. Sr. High School in Detroit, Mich., traveling to Kenya and Tanzania
- Zachary Zimmer, Westfield Middle School in Westfield, Ind., traveling to Egypt
- John Nord, Saint George's School in Spokane, Wash., traveling to Italy
- Bryant Adler, Alcoa High School in Alcoa Tenn., traveling to England
- Scott Wright, Oakland Junior High School in Columbia, Mo., traveling to India
- J.D. Gonzales, Kelloggsville High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., traveling to Thailand
- Carissa Martus, Quatama Elementary School in Hillsboro, Ore., traveling to China
- Lisa Von Dohlen, Enka High School in Candler, N.C., traveling to Mexico
- Silas Dufrene, AP Beutel Elementary School in Lake Jackson, Texas, traveling to Europe
- Bradley Lewis, Bainbridge High School in Bainbridge Island, Wash., traveling to Africa
"Congratulations to the 15 winners in the inaugural year of the Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition," said Jeff Diskin, executive vice president, commercial services, Hilton Worldwide. "Hilton HHonors is thrilled to help these deserving teachers embark on a journey of a lifetime, bringing the importance of travel and the value of understanding other cultures back to their classroom and community - travel is calling them and they have eagerly answered. We hope you do too."
- Winners: 15 winners will receive a grant valued at $6,000 to travel to a destination of their choice; in addition to the trip, each winning teachers' school will also receive a $2,500 donation to use for cultural activities or enhancements
- Runners-up: 15 runners-up will each receive a $2,500 donation for their school to use for cultural activities or enhancements
- One winner from all submissions will receive funding for a cultural excursion for their classroom valued at $1,500
- From those that voted in the Teacher Treks competition, 10 random winners will receive one Hilton HHonors Gift Card valued at $250
"Incorporating an international perspective fueled by first-hand experiences into the curriculum will help these teachers prepare their students to succeed in the global economy," said Allan E. Goodman, president, Institute of International Education. "On behalf of IIE, I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the winners and finalists and thank Hilton HHonors for making this learning opportunity a reality for teachers."
To view the winners' gallery, visit www.hhonors.com/teachertreks.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,900 hotels and timeshare properties, with 650,000 rooms in 90 countries and territories and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.
About Hilton HHonors
Hilton HHonors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide's 10 distinct hotel brands, offers its 34 million members more ways to earn and redeem points than any other guest-loyalty program, enabling them to create experiences worth sharing at more than 3,900 hotels in 90 countries and territories. HHonors members can now redeem points for any room, anywhere, anytime, including the most luxurious suites, using any of four room rewards: Premium Room Rewards, Room Upgrade Rewards, Points & Money Rewards and Standard Room Rewards. In addition, HHonors members can use points to purchase unique experience rewards, merchandise and vacation packages, make charitable contributions and more. HHonors is also the only guest-loyalty program to offer 'No Blackout Dates' and 'Points & Miles' for the same stay at its properties worldwide, including participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels& Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. Membership in HHonors is free, and travelers may enroll online by visiting www.HiltonHHonors.com or connect with Hilton HHonors at news.hiltonhhonors.com. Members can now also book reservations, manage their accounts and redeem special offers with the new Hilton HHonors mobile app for iPhone.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.
Learn more about IIE at www.iie.org.