a student across a conference table from adults for a mock interview


Applying for college can be both exciting and overwhelming for students and parents alike. If you’ve already been accepted to a program, look at the school’s internal scholarship opportunities, but don’t stop there! Community organizations and non-profits are also incredible – and underutilized – resources. Did you know that The Classic Center Cultural Foundation awards over $60,000 annually in scholarships? There are a variety of opportunities available to local high school students, employees of The Classic Center, and students currently enrolled in hospitality programs at Athens Technical College, The University of Georgia, and Athens Community Career Academy.

If you’re a high school student interested in one of The Classic Center Cultural Foundation’s performing or visual arts scholarships, don’t be afraid to ask your school’s guidance counselor for help with application – especially since they’ll benefit, too! Students who win receive $2,000 and an additional $500 is awarded to the recipient’s school. 

Not a high school student but still interested in a scholarship? No problem! Anyone currently enrolled in hospitality industry programs at The University of Georgia or Athens Technical College, as well as graduating seniors at the Athens Community Career Academy, are eligible to apply for the Paul T. Martin Hospitality Education Fund.

For more information about The Classic Center Cultural Foundation’s scholarship offerings, click here.

 a collage of students at The Classic Center

Workforce Development

Scholarships are great, but did you know there are ways to test out career paths before you ever have to officially pick a major or a program? On-the-job education is an excellent way to get experience in a field, especially if you find a tried-and-true program – of which Athens has several! 

Bread for Life

Bread for Life’s Career Connect is a non-profit that offers hands-on training strategically paired with instruction from industry professionals. As a 5-week program open to people ages 16-21, this is an invaluable opportunity for those from the Athens area. Participants get paid (that’s right – get paid!) while getting behind-the-scenes insight into career paths in the hospitality, marketing, event planning, sales, culinary, and the tourism industries and developing new skills.

Learn more about Bread for Life here.

Athens Community Career Academy

What better way to celebrate education than by turning an entire facility into a learning lab that benefits local students? Athens Community Career Academy, founded in 2011, offers career-oriented, college-level classes at NO COST to students. Take advantage of this opportunity to earn college credits while getting a hands-on look at your industry of interest.

The Classic Center has partnered with Athens Community Career Academy since 2022, serving as the on-site learning lab for the Hospitality and Tourism Pathway. In addition to the Hotel and Hospitality Management track, an Entertainment, Sports, and Events Management track will be available starting in the fall of 2024. Serving as northeast Georgia’s premier award-winning convention center and performing arts theatre, as well as wedding venue and home arena to the UGA Ice Dawgs, this is industry experience that can’t be beat.

To learn more about the Athens Community Career Academy, click here.

Hospitality Careers Academy

Another unique educational opportunity available to high school students in the Athens area is The Classic Center’s Hospitality Careers Academy. Students will gain experience in hospitality, marketing, event planning, stage production, and more through job shadowing, industry tours, and lessons from guest speakers. This hands-on weeklong experience culminates in a capstone project where students, with the support of their mentors, execute an event for over 200 guests.

By learning how to interact with clients, going through mock interviews with The Classic Center’s HR team, and getting to choose which role they want for the week, this camp is a resume-booster and an unforgettable insight into the hospitality industry that’s hard to beat.

Learn more and keep an eye out for 2024 applications here.

Beyond these formal programs, The Classic Center has internship opportunities available to students at several local schools. Ask your program advisor to learn more.


National American Education Week, which at this point has been celebrated for over 100 years, was designed to celebrate and raise support for school systems. A great way to commemorate this week is by taking the time to learn about educational opportunities and support systems in your area. We hope that this blog has been informative, and we encourage you to share it with anyone who would like to learn more about, or apply for, the above opportunities! Applications for some programs open annually, so make sure to check back on the pages frequently if the next year’s isn’t open yet.

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