March 28, 2007 08:30 ET

Travel and Geography "Smarts" Earn Ponder Student Statewide Title and Trip to Orlando for Finals of AAA Travel High School Challenge

HOUSTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 28, 2007 -- David G Crouse, a 9th grade student who is home schooled in Ponder, Texas, population about 500, has earned a chance to compete for a $20,000 college scholarship in the AAA Travel High School Challenge, a nationwide competition on travel and geography knowledge. This May, Crouse will travel to Orlando, Florida, and represent Texas in the nerve-wracking national finals, where he will compete with other winners from across the country.

The AAA Travel High School Challenge aims to increase teens' travel knowledge and geographic literacy while creating awareness of career opportunities in the travel and tourism industries.

High school students around the state registered for the online portion of the competition and the top five scorers advanced to the state finals. Crouse scored the highest on a 40-question written, proctored exam taken by each of the five state finalists. The state exams challenged students' knowledge of U.S. and world geography, with an emphasis on travel and tourist destinations. Sample questions are available online at

"David had to answer a lot of challenging questions and should be very proud of his performance," said AAA Texas general manager, Mark Bell. "He will compete with the some of the nation's brightest students at the competition in Orlando."

"It is great to see so many students excelling in their travel and geographic knowledge," added Bell. "These skills make Travel Challenge participants the perfect candidates for future careers in the travel industry."

The national finals will be held May 19-22, 2007, at Universal Studios. Students will compete in a high-stakes, single-elimination bee for a grand prize $20,000 scholarship. Second and third place prizes will also be awarded at $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

In addition to the unrestricted scholarship competition, students also had the option to use their travel and geography knowledge to compete in a travel-specific scholarship program for those interested in careers in the travel and tourism industry. State essay winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will go on to compete for a national essay award for a $5,000 scholarship.

Sponsors of the AAA Travel High School Challenge include Bank of America, Continental Airlines, Hard Rock Live, Marriott, Pleasant Holidays and Universal Orlando. More information about the competition is available at

The AAA Travel High School Challenge is the official scholarship competition for AAA Travel, the largest full service leisure travel agency in North America. AAA Travel has more than 1,000 accredited travel agency locations generating more than $3.6 billion in revenues. AAA Travel provides domestic and international airline tickets, cruises, escorted tours, independent tour packages, hotels, car rentals and other travel products. AAA Travel's services are available to everyone and are also available on the Internet at

AAA Texas, a member of the American Automobile Association federation of motor clubs, has been serving Texas since 1902. Today, more than a million AAA Texas members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance service, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing, trip planning services, and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on AAA Texas' website at

Contact Information

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