Epicurean Charitable Foundation Las Vegas Honors 2011 Scholarship Recipients

May 18, 2011 by  

2011 Scholarship class
The Epicurean Charitable Foundation Las Vegas
(ECFLV) has selected 10 Clark County high school students as scholarship recipients for their 2011 class.  

Founded in 2001, the foundation’s primary endeavor is educational support for students seeking a career in the hospitality and culinary industries. This year, the foundation announced 10 recipients receiving scholarships for 2011. The students included Alexandra Fiala, Ciro Fodera, Emily Hewett, Sevasti Paschalis, Wendy Pimentel, Beatriz Portillo, Melissa Reyna, Jeremy Sabine, Merecedes Sanchez, and Erika Sandoval.

“The Foundation was fortunate to receive a record number of applicants for this year’s scholarship monies,” said Kevin Dimond, president of the Epicurean Charitable Foundation. “The competition was stiff and the selection process was difficult but we were able to finally narrow it down to an extraordinary class of future industry leaders. We are so pleased to extend our ECF family.”

From Coronado High School, Alexandria Fiala plans to pursue a degree in Hotel Management at San Diego State University. Fiala is currently working as an undergraduate assistant at UNLV’s College of Engineering, while also receiving external credits working two teachers at David M. Cox Elementary School. An active member of the community, Fiala participates in the Youth Advisory Council and has completed nearly 50 hours of community service this year.

Ciro Fodera, from the Southeast Career & Technical Academy, plans to hone his culinary skills at the Culinary Institute of America. Currently, Fodera works as a prep chef at Red Rock Country Club and has previously worked as a line cook at Nora’s Italian Cuisine. Fodera solidified his love and passion for the culinary industry when he received an internship in Canicatti, Sicily as a prep chef at La Torre Home Services.

Athlete, teen pageant finalist and senior class treasurer, Emily Hewett from Boulder City High School plans to explore her passion for hospitality as a Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management major at Johnson & Wales. Hewitt is the senior chairwoman for the Community Service Club and volunteers with many organizations including Teens Actively Contributing, Interact, National Honor Society, Student Voices for Change and more.

Sevasti Paschalis from the Northwest Career & Technical Academy plans to major in Hotel Management and minor in Culinary Arts. Paschalis recently placed third in a ProStart cake decorating competition and is fluent in Greek.

Wendy Pimentel from Foothills High School plans to attend the Art Institute of Las Vegas to further explore her passion for the culinary industry. In February 2011, Pimentel placed fifth in a ProStart cake decorating competition in Reno, Nev. Also in 2011, Pimentel placed second in FCCLA’s hospitality management competition.

From Valley High School, Beatriz Portillo is currently enrolled in the magnet program for Valley’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. A member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Portillo plans to major in Hospitality Management at UNLV. Portillo is also a Student Council officer as well as a member of the Key Club and AP Society.

Melissa Reyna, a future Hospitality major at UNLV is currently enrolled in the magnet program for Hospitality and Tourism at Valley High School. Reyna is gaining industry experience quickly as she is also interning at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Jeremy Sabina, a Culinary Arts major attending the Culinary Institute of America in fall 2011, recognized his passion for the industry when he began working at Johnny Rockets. Sabina has utilized his natural gifts by making pastries from scratch and also honing his knife skills in such techniques as julienne, dice, brunoise and tourne.

Future Business Leaders of America Vice President, Mercedes Sanchez plans to pursue a degree in the field of Hotel Management at UNLV. Sanchez is involved with many organizations at Valley High School including the student council of which she is the Student Body Treasurer. Sanchez is also a member of the Student Organization for Latinos as well as a member of the AP Society and DECA. Currently, Sanchez works part-time has a wedding coordinator at the Little Chapel of Flowers.

Erika Sandoval plans to pursue a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University. In 2011, Sandoval placed fourth in ProStart’s statewide restaurant manager competition. Earlier this year, Sandoval was a finalist for the Independent Business Entrepreneurship at the DECA state conference and won the silver medal in the FCCLA National Hospitality and Recreation competition.

Founded in May 2001 by Rino Armeni, the Epicurean Charitable Foundation Las Vegas is comprised of more than 40 top food and beverage executives who are dedicated to making a difference in the hospitality industry and community through support of the local education system, hospitality and culinary related organizations, charities and associations. The Foundation’s primary charitable endeavor is the establishment of annual scholarship awards for local students seeking careers in the hospitality industry. The Epicurean Charitable Foundation Las Vegas can be reached at 702-932-5098 or by visiting

© 2011, All rights reserved. All content copyrighted or used with permission. All rights reserved. This content may not be distributed, modified, reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission from

Now you can Follow on
Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and Twitter!

Shop Best of Vegas for all your Las Vegas Travel needs!
Las Vegas News Websites

Follow us on Social Media!

Friend us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterAdd us to Google+Follow us on PinterestJoin Bryan on LinkedInRSS FeedFollow us on Instagram
Advertise on
Sidebar links, graphic ads, poster ads, sponsored articles, hot-linked terms! Click for Examples!

Nick Kallos' Casino Gaming School for casino dealers in Las Vegas. Learn to deal Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Baccarat and Pai Gow Poker.

Learn to be a Casino Dealer in Las Vegas!

Click here!
 covers celebrity sightings, upcoming shows and concerts, hotel & casino news, nightclubs,
travel information, sports, plus information about restaurants, conventions and tourist attractions. We have
some of the greatest celebrity photos you've ever seen so check us daily for the latest news about Las Vegas!

Copyright (c) 2004-2017 Bryan Eggers
Send news, editorial comments, suggestions and press releases to