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From Sign Language to Special Olympics, Hilton Team Members are Pursuing Their Dreams with Thrive Sabbaticals

MCLEAN, Va. - If you could live out a lifelong dream or give one to a person or community in need, what would you do? For the third consecutive year, Hilton is announcing Thrive Sabbatical: Give a Dream, Live a Dream – an industry-leading program that gives 10 Team Members four weeks of paid sabbatical time and $5,000 to pursue a passion. The month-long sabbatical provides Team Members the opportunity to spend time doing what is most meaningful to them.

“Our Team Members are at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to helping them turn their dreams into reality,” said Matt Schuyler, chief human resources officer at Hilton. “Having seen this program at work for the last two years, we can say with certainty that these sabbaticals have a lasting impact on our Team Members and inspire all of us who follow their journeys.” 

One Thrive Sabbatical recipient’s experience was truly life changing. Mira Macud, a single mother and Administrative Assistant at Conrad Dubai, returned to her home country to learn American Sign Language at the Philippine School for the Deaf, allowing her to have a conversation with her 15-year old son for the first time. “Before, my son felt very lonely, but now I know more sign language he has become more expressive and it’s easier for us to understand each other,” said Macud.

While her story could have ended there, Macud spent her Thrive Sabbatical allowance funding hundreds of meals for volunteers at the school. After building a relationship with the Conrad Manila team who provided the meals, Macud was offered a position at the hotel. “My Thrive Sabbatical has changed my life forever,” said Macud, who is now living with her son for the first time since he was four years old. “This is the start of a new chapter in life.”

Additional recipients from last year’s program are returning from their philanthropic or volunteer activities, or from exploring personal goals, in destinations as far-reaching as Thailand, Norway, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates. Watch highlights from their journeys here and read more: 

  • Tim Sachse, Concierge at Hilton Berlin, rented a wheelchair-accessible RV to take his father through the countryside of Sweden and Norway: “I wanted to show him the places he always wanted to show me…it means a lot to me to be able to do this trip together.”
  • Bronwyn Hartney, Sales Manager at Hilton Cobham, trained her client for the 2019 Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi: “Hilton supports whatever your passion may be and pushes you to go above and beyond what you might have done before. It’s really made me think about what I want to achieve.” 
  • Emille Artigas, Marketing and PR Director at Hilton Doha, organized an underwater dive trip with Project Aware – Dive Against Debris to survey and clean up ocean debris: “I want my children, and my children’s children, to see the world free of pollution.”

The Thrive Sabbatical program is part of the company’s promise to Team Members, Thrive at Hilton, a framework that supports Team Members through their journey at Hilton both professionally and personally.

Hilton was recently recognized as the #1 Best Company to Work For in the U.S. and the #2 World’s Best Workplace.