Harvard — Westlake Student Wins State Championship in AAA Travel Challenge


(West Los Angeles, March 16, 2005) — A West Los Angeles teenager who attends Harvard — Westlake School in North Hollywood has won the California state championship and will advance to the national championship round of the AAA Travel Challenge, a national scholarship competition. Perry Factor, grade 12, wins an expenses paid trip to Universal Orlando in Florida in May to compete for a total of $105,000 in college scholarships.

The AAA Travel Challenge kicked off January 1 with students in grades 9-12 competing through a Web-based exam at www.aaa.com/TravelChallenge. The state final required a proctored, written exam. State champions and their chaperones receive a trip to Orlando to attend the national competition.

"We are very proud that the California representative for the AAA Travel Challenge is from West L.A. and the Automobile Club of Southern California," said Robert Schwab, manager of the Auto Club's West Los Angeles. "The AAA Travel Challenge is more than a geography competition. It includes questions to test students' travel literacy, such as popular destinations for leisure vacation travelers."

Other California finalists were Kristen Bennett, Westlake Village; Michelle Bennett, Westlake Village; Andrew Lai, Cerritos and Theodore Nitschke of Clovis High School in Fresno.

The national finals will be held at Universal Orlando and will involve a written exam. The event culminates in a live game show with two teams of three students each. Members of the winning team will each receive a $25,000 scholarship and each member of the runner-up team will win a $10,000 scholarship.

The AAA Travel High School Challenge encourages teens to consider careers in the travel and tourism industry. Corporate sponsors for the contest are Continental Airlines, Holland America Line, Marriott, MBNA America, Pleasant Holidays and Universal Orlando.

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest AAA affiliate, has been serving members since 1900. Today, Auto Club members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services and automotive pricing, buying and financing programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's web site at www.aaa-calif.com.