Farmers Insurance to Award Academic Scholarships to Winners of the Young Americanos Photo Contest
Photos to be Exhibited at the International Museum of Art & Science in McAllen

Farmers Insurance will award more than $6,000 in academic scholarships to 35 local student winners of the Farmers Insurance Young Americanos Youth Photography Competition at a special ceremony this morning at 10:30 a.m. at the International Museum of Art & Science, 1900 Nolana in McAllen. The winners will receive cash awards ranging $100 for the elementary school winners to $1,000 for the Grand Prize winner.

The Farmers Insurance Young Americanos Photography Competition, which was held from September 1 through November 6, encouraged students from kindergarten through the 12th grade to photograph Latino Life in the Rio Grande Valley. The photo contest was held in partnership with the International Museum of Art & Science, which has also agreed to display the winning photographs as a special exhibition that will run through March 16, 2003.

Receiving the $1,000 Grand Prize cash scholarship will be Courtney Bess, an eighth-grade student at De Leon Middle School in McAllen. Bess' winning photo shows a young girl competing in a horseback riding competition.

Most of the student winners represent local communities such as McAllen, Pharr, and Edinburg but winners also came from as far away as Brownsville, Laredo and Georgetown. Farmers Insurance will provide over $6,000 in cash scholarships and other prizes to the winners. The photographs will also be available for viewing at the award-winning website beginning December 14.

"These photographs are outstanding. The students have truly captured what Latino life is like in the Rio Grande Valley," said John Hageman, vice president and state executive director for Farmers Insurance. "Every student, their families and their teachers should be proud of the students' accomplishments."

The Farmers Insurance Young Americanos Youth Photography Competition was developed by Farmers as a companion piece to Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, a critically-acclaimed photography exhibition, jointly produced by the Smithsonian Institution and actor/activist Edward James Olmos, which was recently on exhibition at the International Museum of Art & Science. Farmers is a national sponsor of the Americanos exhibition which is currently touring cities across the United States through 2004.

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies(R) is the nation's third-largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group. Headquartered in Los Angeles and doing business in 41 states, the insurers comprising the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies provide Homeowners, Auto, Business, Life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households through 17,000 exclusive and independent agents and district managers. For more information about Farmers, visit our Web site at .

  Following is a list of all the winners and their school affiliations.

  Courtney      Bess                De Leon Middle School

  Samantha      Barnett             McAllen Memorial High School
  Erika         Cantu               James Nikki Rowe High School
  Jose          Davila              Mission High School
  Chanel        Hernandez           Mission High School
  Gabriel       Hernandez           Mission High School
  Crystal       Luera               Roma High School

  Bianca        Martinez            St. Joseph Academy
  Devin         Oliveira            St. Joseph Academy
  Amanda        Padilla             St. Joseph Academy
  Daniella      Tellam              St. Joseph Academy
  Paloma        Vazquez             St. Joseph Academy
  Inigo         Vigil               St. Joseph Academy

  Juan          Alaniz              Jose de Escandon Elementary
  Alejandro     Castillo            Bonham Elementary
  Cristina      Garza               Clark Middle School
  Robert        Garza               N.L. Trevino Elementary
  Tommie        Harris              Rayburn Elementary
  Justin        Martinez            De La Vina Elementary
  Sean          McBryde             Cooper Elementary
  Ernesto       Rangel              Wilson Elementary
  Flor          Salinas             William Travis Elementary
  Lizbeth       Trevino             De La Vina Elementary
  Lauren        Zuniga              De La Vina Elementary
  Leslie        Zuniga              De La Vina Elementary

  Joselyn       Baize               Edinburg High School
  Ashley        Bose                Cathey Middle School
  Luis          Cardenas            St. Joseph Academy
  Carlos        Davila              Mission High School
  Ernie         Pena                Edinburg High School
  Victoria      Ponce               N. L. Trevino Elementary
  Abram         Realista            De La Vina Elementary
  Celina        Tafolla             South Palm Gardens High School
  Sylvia        Vargas              Clark Middle School
  Jaysonn       Vel                 Gonzalez Elementary


SOURCE: Farmers Insurance Group

CONTACT: Luis Sahagun, cell, +1-323-691-6300, or Luisa Acosta-Franco,
+1-323-932-3083, both of Farmers Insurance Group



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