Students in St. John’s University’s Master of Science program in International Hospitality Management (IHM) recently developed a marketing plan for Project St. Anne, a nonprofit organization in Haiti that provides educational, nutritional, and financial support to their local communities.
“I am so proud of my Marketing and Sales in International Hospitality Management class for developing a targeted marketing strategy to help generate more support for this worthy cause,” said April M. Merenda, Assistant Professor/Industry Professional and Director of the graduate IHM program. “St. John’s students always look for ways to put our University’s Vincentian mission into action.”
Naika Charles Dhaiti, Founder of Project St. Anne, sought assistance to regularly reach out to donors and provide them with quarterly updates on the status of the children they sponsor. The students drafted letters, a newsletter, and a video she can use to keep donors informed. The goal of these materials is generating more interest in the program—and hopefully more potential donors.
“Our idea was to support an organization in need—one that was doing good in the world—and not a company looking to make more money or improve their advertising,” explained IHM major Andrea Sanchez Mejorada Mendoza, a native of Cancún, Mexico. “Our goal was to complete this project in time and help the Project St. Anne team reach out to as many people at the earliest date possible,” stressed IHM student Aashna Narsinghani, a native of Lagos, Nigeria.
“Since our group had busy and conflicting schedules, we agreed the project would be done remotely,” noted IHM student Raquel Goncalves. At present, Haiti is experiencing unrest and is under a state of emergency as it braces for a spike in COVID-19 cases. “We informed the donors of these complications,” Raquel explained, noting that the school is still operating at present.
COVID-19 altered the direction of the project. “We decided to not only promote education for children in need, but also safety,” Andrea explained. “We really pushed ourselves to develop ways we can help during this difficult time.”
Andrea, Raquel, and Aashna felt a strong connection to the University’s Vincentian mission as they worked on this project. “The University provides me with so many ways to be of service, and I want to continue to seek out those opportunities,” Andrea noted.
“I have personally grown by helping others, and I will continue to help however I can,” Aashna said. “The Vincentian mission inspired me to respond to God’s call,” Raquel said. “Attending St. John’s gives me a sense of pride as I continue an incredible legacy.”