The Marriott Foundation’s Bridges - from School to Work program is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The famous hotel chain’s altruistic wing was inspired, in part, by the late Stephen Garth Marriott, the founder’s grandson. He was diagnosed with a terminal degenerative disease as a teenager, yet went on to enjoy a successful career.
The Bridges program has helped more than 18,000 young people around the country acquire skills and find real-world jobs. At a recent awards dinner for the program, ABILITY’s Chet Cooper and Lia Martirosyan met with Richard E. Marriott, chairman of the board of Marriott’s Host Hotels and Resorts, and president of its Foundation for People with Disabilities.
Chet Cooper: When we were first introduced, you had a huge map of the world covering your office wall.
Marriott: It’s still there.
Cooper: And you had all these dots on it, and I remember saying: “It looks like you’re taking over the world.” And you said, “One day.”