Erica Wade, 17, a first year Savannah Pre-Apprentice Program participant, spent summer 2016 learning the ins and outs of the hospitality industry as one of two Savannah

Erica Wade, 17, works at Holiday Inn Express as a Savannah Lodging Apprentice

Erica Wade, 17, works at Holiday Inn Express as a Savannah Lodging Apprentice

Lodging apprentices. Wade reported to work each week at Holiday Inn Express on the Bay and Abercorn streets. In two-week rotations, Wade worked in the hotels kitchen, where she assisted with breakfast service. Next, she aided housekeeping staff with laundry duties. Wade also engaged with staff and guests while manning the valet podium.

Wade said her many mentors were the greatest SPAP benefit. “They talk about leadership skills, dress, good attitude, ” said Wade. More specifically, Wade said use of appropriate body language is a topic that stood out in the SPAP life skills sessions. “Your body language is important. It can get you good or bad feedback to the boss.”

Wade had a first-hand lesson in this subject at her job site. She recalled being summoned to the bosses office for an unknown reason, and becoming nervous. When she arrived, she learned that several guests submitted positive feedback cards bearing her name. As a result, her name was automatically added to a staff raffle and drawn, winning her a free meal at a Downtown Savannah restaurant. “It was free, and it was from my hard work, “said Wade.IMG_1342

Wade, A rising high school senior, desires to enroll in cosmetology school after graduation. She is confident the skills she learned through SPAP and her friends at Savannah Lodging will come in handy throughout her professional life.

Wade reflected on her SPAP experience stating, “I feel like I can accomplish anything that’s given to me.”