Hilton awards team members month-long sabbaticals to thrive and pursue dreams

Monday, 12 November 2018 00:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Annual ‘Hilton Thrive Sabbatical’ gives 10 team members globally opportunities to give or live a dream; two coveted slots awarded to South East Asia


Hilton has announced the 10 global winners selected for its annual Thrive Sabbatical 2019. The program awards each winner an all-expenses paid four-week sabbatical to pursue a cause that is closest to their hearts; a stipend of $ 5,000 and a travel camera to document their memories. 

This year, Hilton announces two winners from the Asia Pacific region, both hailing from South East Asia: Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon’s Angel Hu and Hilton Colombo Residences’ Minoli Senanayake.

Paul Hutton, Vice President, Operations for Hilton in South East Asia said, “In 2018, Hilton was recognised as the Best Multinational Workplace in Asia, and a Great Place to Work in nine countries including India, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States. We are constantly looking for the best ways to provide our team members with meaningful opportunities that will allow them to live their best every day and the Thrive Sabbatical program enables 10 of them each year to grow and flourish as individuals as we provide the resources and time they need to fulfil what might be a lifelong dream.”

“We are very proud of Angel and Minoli who are going to take the opportunity to work with organisations of their choices to give back to the community. This is what being part of a company with the extent of our scale and footprint across the globe is all about and we look forward to seeing the impact of their journey during their sabbaticals,” added Hutton.

In keeping with the company’s purpose of launching the ‘[email protected]’ initiative in 2017 which focuses on providing benefits and welfare for its team members’ well-being, the Thrive Sabbatical will allow team members time to give back to their communities. In order to qualify, individuals have to had completed five consecutive years at Hilton and submit an online application detailing the activities and desired outcomes of their Sabbatical. 

For the submission, team members could either choose to ‘Give a Dream’ or ‘Live a Dream’: Either by enriching the lives of others by volunteering or philanthropic activity or through achieving a personal goal by exploring a new interest. The sabbaticals must take place in 2019. 

Now in its second year, the 365 sabbatical applications were reviewed by an independent panel, of which 10 were selected to win $ 5,000 and an all-expenses paid four-week sabbatical. In addition, 10 applicants won $ 1,000 and $ 500 to be donated to charities.

About the South East Asia Winners

 Minoli Senanayake, Assistant Manager of Public Relations at Hilton Colombo Residences, has seen first-hand how poor standards of living and poverty have greatly impacted her home country of Sri Lanka. Many children are also unable to get an education due to social stigmas and under-developed infrastructure. During Minoli’s sabbatical, she will do her part by spending time at Sri Lanka’s first centre for children with disabilities, Ayati Centre, where she will assist therapists with their day-to-day work.

“Almost 20% of children in Sri Lanka suffer some form of disability. Not only are they deprived of education and their childhood, they are also shunned from society. Having been given a great opportunity to do my part to help these children, I will be volunteering with Ayati Trust which treats children with disabilities and assist the Centre in setting up their vocational training unit,” said Senanayake. 

Angel Hu, Restaurant and Bar Manager of Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon, has experienced childhood struggles first-hand. From a young age she learned the value of education and a strong support system. Angel is using this opportunity from Hilton to give back to less fortunate youths in Thailand with Radion International, an organisation that provides humanitarian aid, community development and crisis relief to poor and at-risk children. During her sabbatical, Angel will join efforts with Radion International in Thailand to provide education opportunities for underprivileged children.

“Reflecting on the days where education could have been impossible for me without the government’s support, I realise how important education is for the younger generation. With this opportunity from Hilton, I would love to bring this gift of knowledge to children in Thailand. Every child has the right to education, but not many have the resources to receive it. This will allow me to volunteer with an organisation that will help me impact students and help children who are less fortunate,” said Hu.

Minoli Senanayake and Angel Hu will take their respective sabbaticals in March and April of 2019 respectively.