Weddings are filled with love, light, commitment and the exciting prospect of stepping into a new chapter. These are things 28-year-old Amoy Hodges has come to love as a Wedding Server at Sandals South Coast.
Growing up, Amoy was not exposed to things such as these in her family structure nor from the families around her. In fact, in her little district in Discovery Bay, St. Ann, she felt there was no real drive for growth or commitment to development. After attending Discovery Bay All-Age and Brown’s Town High, she was in her first year of St. Monica’s College pursuing a course in Bartending and Dining Room Principles when she became pregnant with her first child. Though disappointed with the turn of events, her opportunity to leave the community came and she moved to Whitehouse, Westmoreland with the father of her child to be closer to his family. While there, she acquired two jobs. The first, she worked in the daytime as a cashier, and the other as a waitress/bartender in the evening.
Netball, the pivoting point
“Although moving felt like the right thing to do, it was still difficult for me to acclimatize to a new parish as well and new people. I decided I needed to find a way to connect with those around me and soon found out that there was a netball team in the community, ”Amoy shared. It was a sport she had always loved and was very good and she was therefore welcomed with open arms. Through Netball, she met a Sandals South Coast team member who was also a coach for the sport. As luck would have it, the resort was recruiting for the team, even as Amoy had also applied to become a part of the resort’s six-week Hospitality Training Programming.
“My first role at the resort was as a function worker with the responsibility of setting up and facilitating dining experiences for couples who booked candlelight dinners. I would also serve at other specially planned functions as needed”, Amoy continued. “One day, I was assigned to work as a server at a wedding for 150 persons and that was a pivotal moment for me. I had never worked at such a large function with that many persons before and I was very nervous. It was hectic and required a lot of concentration and quick thinking but I remained calm and executed”.
Amoy made such an impression that the weddings manager noticed and encouraged Amoy to apply for a permanent position on her team. Soon after, she was successfully added to the Weddings Department as a Weddings Server.
Two years later, Amoy is still hungry and wants even more. Noticing that she was interested in becoming more, her manager consulted with Amoy and devised a plan. Amoy is currently undergoing intentional training and shadowing other department team members to learn the other functions in detail.
Amoy’s, manager Valecia Galbraith said, “I recognised the potential in Amoy to be so much more than she gave herself credit for. The Sandals way has always been to maximise each person’s potential and I am determined to help her to do that. I’m happy for the progress she’s made and I’m excited for the other opportunities she will encounter on this path.”
Amoy’s latest accomplishment has been the completion of the Supervisor Training Skills course, which is a six-week programme that empowers and offers guidance to team members who are seeking to transition into supervisory roles along the path for their professional growth. Amoy has also completed other courses through the Sandals Corporate University and is also now a certified Wedding Planner. Her aim is to move into that role as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Amoy attributes her tremendous growth to the nurturing nature of the Sandals family. “I’m not sure had I not met my team and manager that I would have pushed myself the way I have over the last three years. I’ve been given many opportunities to grow and I am grateful. After I become a Wedding Planner officially (I am speaking it into being) and settle into that role, my aim is to start manager’s training. I’m eager to prepare myself for all the opportunities on the horizon as the Sandals group continues to expand its reach in the Caribbean. I’m so grateful to the Sandals family that has opened its arms to welcome me and helped me to develop new roots and set a new precedence for my life.”