Sep 16, 2022 · Community

Building brighter futures through mentoring and education

As students settle into their back to school routines, Royal Caribbean Group is teaming up with Miami area organizations to empower them to reach their full potential through fun and engaging educational opportunities. Through our work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami (BBBS) and Kids and the Power of Work (KAPOW), our employees are helping to make sure they have the resources they need to succeed.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

For the past 18 years, Royal Caribbean Group has worked with BBBS of Miami and Miami-Dade Public School District to match students with employee mentors through BBBS’ School-to-work program. This one-on-one mentorship initiative promotes job readiness, the importance of training and education and provides students with the knowledge they need to reach their career goals. A valuable element of this program is job shadowing, where Royal Caribbean Group volunteers welcome students to its Miami campus, giving them an up-close look at the cruise industry and more. Employees like Grant Van Ulbrich, director for Sales Transformation and International Marketing, have invested many hours in this program, committed to making a positive impact on local youth. In the past, Van Ulbrich was matched with students from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami.

“During my time with BBBS, I was blessed to have two little brothers. Learning about their dreams, as well as sharing a little about my life experiences were a joy and a highlight I will never forget. One of my littles, Jeff St. Fleurose, was fascinated about my time serving in the U.S. Navy and wanted to know more about it. I was so honored when I found out that he decided to enlist in the Army and gain further education in their information technology division,” said Ulbrich.

Throughout the years Ulbrich and Fleurose have continued their relationship. Ulbrich added, “children need encouragement and guidance, and this program is an amazing way to ensure they get that, supporting their further development.”

Grand Van Ulbrich working with his littles (photographed in middle)

Littles playing basketball at the port with Leah Mello, Lead, Wellness Initiatives at Royal Caribbean Group

Kids and the Power of Work

Learning the ropes of the cruise industry does not stop there for local students. For more than two decades, we have also partnered with KAPOW, an organization that connects information technology employees from our Broward County office with West Hollywood Elementary third graders to teach them about the working world and help them understand the benefits of learning. Through this program, students can begin to explore the link between success in the classroom, at work and in life. These students also get the opportunity to visit one of the company’s cruise ships and learn what it’s like to work at sea.

Jason Liberty, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Group, said, “As a company, we consistently strive to enhance the lives of our local youth, and we’ll continue to do our part to help shape the talent of tomorrow. We have built great partnerships with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Kids and the Power of Work, both of which have made a big difference in the lives of students and our employees. We hope the students we work with will be inspired to return to Royal Caribbean Group, make lifelong connections here and contribute new ideas to the cruise industry.”