WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation recognized three high school students from California and Texas during the National BizFest Youth Entrepreneurship Competition. The competition took place during the 2013 USHCC National Convention in Chicago, where winners were announced at a special BizFest Reception.

BizFest is an intensive entrepreneurial training program, sponsored by this year's 2013 National Convention Corporate Chair Bank of America, which teaches high school youth how to turn their hobbies into profitable business ventures. At this national event, 12 of the top students from the regional BizFest competitions vied against one another for three coveted spots, and the chance to win a college scholarship. The first, second and third place winners were slated to receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships, respectively.

In this year's national competition, first place was awarded to Tatyana Bradberry from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor in California who presented her project, E-Vents. Second place went to Lupe Martinez-Nateras from Irving, Texas with J.E.S.A Catering. Third place went to Sarah Cervantes for her business plan, Extravagant Events.

In addition to the winners, finalists included:

Kaitlyn Andrews (San Pedro, CA) – Gap Year Round the World
Alexander Arredondo (Wilmington, CA) – Food for Education
Elvin Bonilla (Irving, TX) – Tutor U
Enrique Guadian (Fort Worth, TX) – Bright N' Fit
Julio Jimenez (Wilmington, CA) – All Natural
Guadalupe Paulin (For Worth, TX) P & G Pallets
Vanessa Solorio (Wilmington, CA) – Monkey Cupcakes
Elsa Tovar (Fort Worth, TX) – Just for the Health of It
Erik White (San Pedro, CA) – White Shine Dental

"I am inspired by the talent and innovation exhibited by these young people," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "Hispanic youth are the future of America's business community, and I trust each and every one of this year's Bizfest participants will be an entrepreneurial leader of tomorrow. Congratulations to Tatyana, Lupe, Sarah, and the nine other top competitors for their success in this rigorous competition."
During the BizFest program, expert trainers from the University of Texas – Pan American taught the students various business techniques including how to network in business environments, how to deliver presentations and how to develop succinct pitches. Students also worked to refine their winning business plans from the regional competitions then presented them to an esteemed panel of judges which included Bank of America representatives. Throughout the competition, students attended credit building and financial education workshops presented by Bank of America. Students also had the opportunity to bring their theoretical networking lessons to life as they met with successful Hispanic entrepreneurs and business leaders.

"We are proud to support this unique opportunity and advance the entrepreneurial spirit of our youth," said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Foundation. "Our partnership with the USHCC Foundation has encouraged this impactful and innovative program, which promotes the development of personal interests into viable business opportunities."

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 across the United States that contribute in excess of $465 billion to the American economy each year. 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 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.

CONTACT: Valentina Pereda USHCC Director of Communications 202-489-2932Source:United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce