Twenty Las Vegas High School Students to Experience UNLV Hospitality Summer Program

The graduates of the 2017 Young Executive Scholars Hospitality and Tourism Program (YES). 

May. 16, 2018

This summer will offer college classroom learning and real-world opportunity to 20 Clark County School District high school students participating in the second year of the Young Executive Scholars Hospitality & Tourism Program (YES), happening May 30 through June 22.

The program, hosted by UNLV’s International Gaming Institute (IGI) and Core, will enable these high school students to experience the Las Vegas tourism, hospitality, and integrated resort industries through a four-week, five-day-a-week immersive academic experience. Students will study all aspects of today’s evolving resort industry, including entertainment, food and beverage, retail, esports, conventions and conferences, and other operational aspects including finance, communications, marketing, architecture, corporate social responsibility, and more.

“YES follows the same model as the renowned Executive Development Program (EDP), a partnership between UNLV’s IGI and the University of Nevada, Reno, that allows corporate leaders to learn from and engage with some of the greatest minds in hospitality and tourism,” said Bo Bernhard, executive director of IGI. “The culmination of the program, a proposal to develop Las Vegas’ next world-class integrated resort, is as innovative as the integration of both academic and executive guest lecturers into an agenda that provides a nuanced look into the world of hospitality-tourism.”

Students will learn in the classroom and on site from Las Vegas resort companies and executives from Cirque du Soleil, the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, and Rogue (musician Steve Aoki’s professional esports team).

“The scholars at Core who participated in the first-ever YES Hospitality & Tourism Program last year discovered a whole new perspective of the multibillion-dollar industry that sits right in their backyard,” said Lindsay Harper, Core executive director. “We are thrilled to participate for the second year in a row. It’s exciting to show our kids the many professional career opportunities within hospitality and tourism they didn’t even know existed and encourage them to excel in academic areas they did not realize were applicable to this dynamic industry.”

Bernhard and Harper said the mission of YES is to create a strong pipeline of homegrown talent who, through exposure, education, and access to a diverse pool of successful executives and leaders, will become the next generation of Nevada’s hospitality industry trailblazers.

Participating students were selected based on strength of their essay submission, where they described what makes them proud to call Las Vegas home and what a program like YES means to them. At the end of the rigorous four weeks, students will present their comprehensive integrated resort business plans, which will be evaluated by UNLV IGI faculty, business, and community leaders.

All students will receive a $5,000 individual scholarship for completing the program as well as career advising, planning, and resume building for their future professions. The four students on the winning team will each receive $10,000 in an individual scholarship.

Follow the YES story on social media: @UNLVigi, @COREWeCan, #youngexecs2018


Shekinah Hoffman; UNLV International Gaming Institute; (702) 895-2549;

Michelle Loosbrock; Core; (702) 287-4130;