ABOUT THE DESMOND PROJECT
This year marks the 26th anniversary of The Desmond Project, a unique partnership program that connects Great Valley High School students with The Desmond Hotel Malvern, a Doubletree by Hilton hotel. Acknowledged as the only program in the nation to offer high school students an advanced working relationship with a local business, The Desmond Project allows students to encounter real-life learning experiences in a hands-on business application. Approximately 1,400 Great Valley students have participated in the Desmond Project since its inception. Students have collectively raised over $500,000 for scholarships and various charities, and the annual Senior Citizens’ Luncheon and Student Achievers’ Banquet have become woven into the fabric of the Great Valley community. A winner of various awards, The Desmond Project was most recently recognized by The Youth Mentoring Partnership (YMP) for its multilevel mentorship approach, and by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce for philanthropic work in the community.
For the past 26 years, The Desmond Project’s mission has been to provide students with educational experiences that help them make real world connections and develop the soft skills needed for success after graduation. This elective, accredited course teams the teachers and students at Great Valley High School with professionals from The Desmond Hotel Malvern in a hands-on learning experience. Students learn to work as a team to accomplish goals, identify prospects and challenges, synthesize risks and opportunities, and formulate solutions and business plans.
The Desmond Project includes two keystone events every year, the Senior Citizens’ luncheon and the Student Achievers’ Banquet, both entirely planned and hosted by students in the program. To prepare, students participate in real world interviews with hotel and district leaders to earn positions working alongside professionals from the Desmond Hotel Malvern. In assignments such as marketing, fundraising, menu creation, food prep, publicity, and leadership, students work together to plan and host both events.
In addition to the annual keystone projects, students in The Desmond Project plan and participate in a number of school and community events throughout the year. These events raise awareness and funds for The Project and often benefit other community organizations.
Great Valley School District is located in Chester County, approximately 25 miles west of Philadelphia. There are approximately 92 students enrolled in The Desmond Project for the 2019-2020 school year.