Local Teen Wins Grand Prize in '26 Seconds'

Chula Vista sophomore earns grand prize in 26 Seconds "BMOR" Campaign

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gitzel Puente

    A Chula Vista high school student was named the grand prize winner of a national campaign called 26 Seconds.

    Gabriel Garcia, a sophomore at High Tech High School, beat out 3,000 teens across the nation.

    "I completed five out of the eight activities on the Facebook event page, and I just got selected," says Garcia.

    The 26 Seconds campaign was created by State Farm in order to raise awareness about the staggering high school dropout rate and the importance of staying in school.

    "Gabe is actually the very first winner ever, so it will be a fun and kind of unique experience for us," shares State Farm Agent Bernardo Vasqyez from Chula Vista.

    According to the campaign, every 26 seconds a young person drops out of school in the U.S.

    Garcia was impacted by this statistic and saw this as an opportunity to reach out to students and create change.

    "Put yourself in tomorrow's shoes," he expresses, "You're online looking for a job, and every job that you see requires a high school education."

    As part of the grand prize, Garcia won an iPad, an awareness party to host 300 students from Chula Vista and the chance to serve as a teen advisor to the campaign.

    Later this fall, he will start a community service project with High Tech High teachers and students on water pollution in San Diego's beaches.