(LOS ANGELES, February 21, 2006) — Four area students have advanced to the state finals of the 4th annual AAA Travel Challenge, a national competition offering more than $100,000 in college scholarships and prizes.
Andrew Lai, grade 12, Cerritos; Daniel Kroop, Chatsworth; Victor Wei, South Pasadena; Emmie Wang, Irvine and Julieclaire Sheppard, Tiburon are the five students who will compete for the state championship and the opportunity to win a trip to Universal Orlando in Florida in May.
"We are very proud that four of the five state finalists are from the Automobile Club of Southern California," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "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."
The AAA Travel Challenge kicked off January 9 with students in grades 9–12 competing through a Web-based exam at www.aaa.com/TravelChallenge. The state champion will be decided by the top five scoring students taking a proctored, written exam. The top scorer in each state and Washington D.C. advances to the national finals in Orlando, Florida. State champions and their chaperones receive a trip to Orlando to attend the national competition.
State champions participate in the national competition in Orlando, Florida, where they will complete as individuals and on teams with other contestants. Team semi-finalists will each receive a one thousand dollar U.S. Savings Bond. The second-place team winners will each receive a five thousand dollar U.S. Savings Bond and the first-place team winners will each receive a ten thousand dollar U.S. Savings Bond.
The third-place individual winner will receive a college scholarship award of ten thousand dollars. The second-place individual winner will receive a fifteen thousand dollar college scholarship award and the first-place individual winner will receive a twenty-five thousand dollar college scholarship.
The AAA Travel High School Challenge heightens travel knowledge and geographic literacy, while creating awareness of career opportunities in the travel and tourism industry.
Travel Challenge sponsors are: Holland America Line, Universal Orlando, Pleasant Holidays, Marriott, Continental Airlines, MBNA America and Hard Rock Live.