The most recent session of Carnival’s innovative School to Work mentoring program – which pairs high school students with a member of the company’s management team – featured two special guest speakers – NFL star Jason Taylor and Miami HEAT Head Coach Erik Spoelstra.

Taylor and Spoelstra spoke to the students about the importance of education and setting goals while relaying humorous and insightful stories from the early days in their sports careers.

The event also served as a farewell to the program’s seniors who have been enrolled in the School to Work program for the past three years.  Fifteen of the seniors have received full four-year college scholarships, as well as laptop computers, sponsored by Carnival and the Florida Pre-Paid Scholarship program.  The collective value of the scholarships is more than $180,000.  Carnival will continue to provide 15 scholarships to eligible students for the next six years.

The School to Work mentoring program was established in 2007 and matches 81 Miami-Dade high school students with an executive from Carnival to provide students with a first-hand look at the business world.  Students were formerly enrolled in the Miami HEAT Academy, an after-school enrichment program for at risk youth.