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Young Executive Scholars Hospitality & Tourism Program (YES)

Modeled after the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute (UNLV IGI) and University of Nevada Reno’s renowned Executive Development Program for industry professionals, the Young Executive Scholars Hospitality & Tourism Program (YES) is a rigorous summer course of applied learning, team collaboration, and a mentor-guided, case-study analysis of the global hospitality tourism industry. Each summer, under-resourced high school students discover the managerial and executive-level career opportunities available to them in the industry of their backyard, gain insight into the UNLV college experience, and develop new skills to excel in the classroom today and the workplace tomorrow.

The immersive, holistic YES experience allows students to study all aspects of today’s evolving integrated resort industry including:

  • entertainment;
  • food and beverage;
  • retail;
  • esports;
  • MICE;
  • finance;
  • communications;
  • marketing;
  • architecture;
  • leadership; and
  • corporate social responsibility.

YES challenges students with an academic project with real-world business implications. This mentor-guided, hands-on team project frames learning throughout the YES program by asking the next generation of leaders to imagine and design their own world-class integrated resort.

"Through exposure and access to a diverse pool of successful executives and leaders, we will create a strong pipeline of homegrown talent who will become the next generation of Nevada hospitality industry trailblazers."

2021 Participating Title I High Schools: West Preparatory Academy, East Career & Technical Academy, Rancho High School, Canyon Springs High School, Mission High School, and Clark High School. 

Thank you to our YES 2021 supporters: Wynn Resorts, AGS, Bluberi, and Mr. Sam Kiki.

For further information, please contact yes@unlv.edu. Thank you!

Year Launched
Number of Graduates

What's Happening

A young woman stands overlooking the Las Vegas Strip
Aug. 19, 2020

International Gaming Institute program shows high school students the future careers they can have in hospitality management.

four portraits
May. 16, 2019
Students and faculty lead programs to improve lives in Southern Nevada.
A portrait of Shekinah Hoffman with a portion of the Las Vegas skyline, including the High Roller, in the background.
May. 1, 2019

Shekinah Hoffman leads a rigorous program for mentoring youth in under-resourced communities.


In The News

“I learned a lot about Las Vegas through the YES program. I started to see my hometown differently when I really started to look close. Las Vegas is a place that opens up many doors for those who want to learn more. It’s a place that isn’t defined by one thing, but by so many things.”

Jimena Hernandez-Duran, 2017 YES graduate

YES 2019

YES 2019

YES 2018

Young Executive Scholars (YES) 2018 Highlights

YES 2017

Young Executive Scholars (YES) Program

YES on Channel 8's "What's Cool at School"


Shekinah Hoffman

Research & Community Engagement Associate