USHCC Foundation Congratulates 2014 Orange County BizFest Winners

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| Source: United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation announced James Lopez, Saul Ocampo, Andres Ramirez, Michael Solorio, Maria Apolonio and Vanessa Hernandez as the winners of the BizFest Orange County 2014 Competition. These top six regional finalists will advance to the National BizFest Competition, to be held during the 2014 USHCC National Convention in Salt Lake City, UT, where they will compete against students from across the country.

BizFest is a three-day workshop that teaches high school students how to turn hobbies into profitable business ventures, offers hands-on, practical training for aspiring entrepreneurs, and encourages students to pursue a higher education and become the future business leaders of America. The nation's top three winners will be awarded college scholarships in the amount of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The USHCC Foundation covers all costs associated with travel, meals and lodging for the students to attend convention. BizFest Regional Orange County is a USHCC Foundation event sponsored by Wells Fargo and the Ford Motor Company Fund.

"The USHCC Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Ford Motor Company Fund on this grassroots initiative. BizFest is more than a competition – it's an opportunity to help our youth channel their ingenuity, creativity, and ambition into something that supports their personal growth and gives back to the community," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "All too often, our youth face challenging odds, but all they need are the proper resources, support networks, and exposure to put them on the path to lifelong success. That's why the USHCC Foundation is committed to helping these young aspiring entrepreneurs realize their full potential."

Community partners in Santa Ana will be using BizFest as the official launch to their Summer of Entrepreneurship. Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) – in addition to hosting BizFest at the RSCCD Digital Media Center – has provided funds through its Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) to foster strategic business partnerships and produce a number of entrepreneurial workshops that will continue throughout the year for high school students and young adults in the community.
 
The Reactor Institute, a nonprofit organization for STEM education & economic development, will be facilitating the Summer of Entrepreneurship workshops in collaboration with ListoAmerica. ListoAmerica, is a local nonprofit founded on the premise that Latinos & Latinas are a significant source of future employees in our country's 21st-century workforce. "We in the greater Santa Ana community are excited to be working with the USHCC Foundation and our local network of business & educational partners to prepare a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders." said Brian Hagerty, Executive Director of the Reactor Institute.
 
About the USHCC Foundation
 
The USHCC Foundation is the philanthropic and educational arm of the USHCC. The mission of the USHCC Foundation is to enrich experiences of current and future leaders in the world of business through life-long learning and support. The Foundation's initiatives awaken and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit, support business growth, strengthen local chambers and foster leaders. For more information, visit www.ushccfoundation.org.

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Ammar Campa-Najjar
Associate Director of Communications
619-721-5148