- Top three students advance to national competition in Los Angeles -
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation, in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund and the Coca Cola Company, officially recognized six students from the first regional 2012 BizFest Youth Entrepreneurship Competition that took place at Northeastern Illinois University, January 14-16. The top three finalists will advance to the national competition at the USHCC 33rd Annual National Convention in Los Angeles, California this September.
BizFest, a signature initiative of the USHCC Foundation, is an innovative and intensive entrepreneurial training program that teaches Hispanic high school students how to turn their hobbies into profitable business ventures; the program in January was taught by professors from the University of Texas-Pan American and co-hosted by the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Four high schools in the Chicago area were represented at the three day training. The top three students received an iPad and a trip to Los Angeles, CA to compete against their peers at the national competition. Students at the national competition will compete for college scholarships and have additional exposure to internship and networking opportunities.
"Education is a top priority for Ford Motor Company Fund, which is why we are proud to support the USHCC Foundation and the innovative programming it provides to Hispanic youth," said Joedis Avila, Community Outreach Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "We congratulate the winners and wish them the best of luck at the national competition."
The six Chicago finalists include:
- Luis Arellano (Community Links High School) – "Mile X Inc.," First Place Finalist
- Hyaquino Hyacinthe (Kenwood Academy) – "Text & Shop," Second Place Finalist
- Datus Short (Kenwood Academy) – "Phresh," Third Place Finalist
- Maria Martinez (Benito Juarez Academy) – "Food of Arts Restaurant," Most Entrepreneurial
- Robert Upton (Kenwood Academy) – "Falcon Security," Most Innovative Project
- Joi Brock (Kenwood Academy) – "Le Placard," Business Plan with the Most Potential
The panel of judges at the event included Janet Padilla, Ford Representative; Jessica Delgado, Ford Representative & BizFest Alumni; Andres Pena, USHCC Special Assistant for Government Relations; Alex Alcantar, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Project Coordinator; Matthew Mur, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Project Coordinator and Hannah Gaye Luch, Columbia University Graduate for Media Management and Marketing.
"Chicago is one of the country's most competitive business environments with strong Hispanic representation, and we were excited to engage with some of the city's future Hispanic entrepreneurs through the BizFest training program there," says Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the USHCC. "From GPS technology to retail boutiques, the six finalists showed a real breadth in their business aspirations and it was an honor to develop the entrepreneurial knowledge that will help shape their careers; my congratulations to them all. Also, a true thanks to our partners who assist in making this unique educational initiative possible: The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Coca Cola Company, Ford Motor Company, Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Texas Pan-American."
About the 33rd Annual National Convention & Business Expo
The 33rd Annual National Convention & Business Expo is the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America. Join the USHCC, Fortune 500 companies, Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) and local Chambers of Commerce in Los Angeles, California to connect, strategize and grow. The National Convention takes place September 16th-18th at the JW Marriott L.A. Live Hotel. For more information about the Convention and a full schedule of events, please visit www.ushccconvention.com.
About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of over 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that combined generate in excess of $420 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit www.ushcc.com.
About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The USHCC Foundation is committed to giving Hispanic entrepreneurs alternatives for life preparation and life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Latino entrepreneurs gain access and achieve success in the world of business. Please visit www.ushccfoundation.org for more information on the USHCC Foundation.
SOURCE United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce