Webb School Senior Wins State Title in AAA Travel Challenge


Will Travel to Orlando for Finals and Possible $20,000 College Scholarship

(CLAREMONT-LA VERNE, March 27, 2007) — Riley T. Lewis, of Claremont, a senior at Webb School of California, matched his travel geography wits against students from across California to take home the state title in the fifth annual AAA Travel High School Challenge. This May, Lewis will travel to Orlando to compete in the national finals for a chance at the national title, a $20,000 college scholarship, and additional prizes.

"Surveys continue to show American teens trailing their international counterparts in geographic literacy, so it's great to see a high school student like Riley excelling in their travel and geographic knowledge," said the Automobile Club of Southern California's Regional Manager Deborah Dario. "He'll compete against some of the nation's brightest students."

The AAA Travel High School Challenge aims to increase teens' travel knowledge and geographic literacy while making teens aware of travel industry career opportunities.

More than 50,000 9-12 grade students registered across the country for the online first portion of the competition. Lewis scored the highest on the second portion — a 40-question written, proctored exam taken by the five state finalists. The state exam challenged students' knowledge of U.S. and world geography, with an emphasis on travel and tourist destinations.

Finals will be held May 19-22 at Universal Studios in Orlando. Students will compete in a high-stakes, single-elimination bee for a grand prize $20,000 scholarship. Second- and third-place winners will receive $10,000 and $5,000 scholarships.

In addition to the unrestricted scholarship competition, students also could use their travel and geography knowledge to compete in a travel-specific scholarship program for those interested in careers in the travel and tourism industry. State essay winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will compete for a national essay award for a $5,000 scholarship.

Sponsors of the AAA Travel High School Challenge include: Bank of America, Continental Airlines, Hard Rock Live, Marriott, Pleasant Holidays and Universal Orlando. More information about the competition is available at www.AAA.com/travelchallenge.

The Automobile Club of Southern California, one of the largest AAA affiliate, has served 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 and buying. Information about these products and services is available at www.AAA.com.