Hands-on experience, on-the-job training, immersion programs — these well-known catchphrases represent the most experiential side of learning. Why are they so easily recognized? Because they work — plain and simple.

What could be better than offering an experience like that to the next up-and-coming generation? Our sentiments exactly! That’s why, for the 24th year in a row, we’re hosting The Desmond Project in collaboration with a select group of Great Valley High School students.

This project is unique and works with high school students from all grades. Each student gets the opportunity to shadow professionals at The Desmond to learn on-the-job skills and interdependent problem-solving techniques. You’ll find them working with marketing, sales, banquet services and even in the kitchen.

This is an accredited course, but students get much more than course credit. They make connections, gain authentic experience and collaborate with others in a real-life work setting. It even empowers students to manage their own dinner banquet from start to finish with guidance from our staff.

All year, these students have also been working to raise funds for charity through volunteer work at events like our Bottoms Up for Prostate Cancer gala. Charities that the funds are donated to include the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the American Red Cross.

The Desmond Project banquet will take place this year on Sunday, April 22. The evening itself will honor high-achieving students and recognize their contributions; it represents the pinnacle of the Desmond Project. Student banquets to date have raised around $350,000 in funds, which contribute to student scholarships. The students lead and orchestrate the banquet as well as the Senior Citizen Holiday Luncheon to raise the money through obtaining sponsorships and advertising from local businesses.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and we’re proud to support them through this integral learning experience. Not only does The Desmond Project raise money for important causes and organizations, it contributes richly to the community, the students and The Desmond.



For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you — no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: Lauren Liblick and Raphael Worotikan