Guttenberg girl Ashley Herrera recently won first prize in a contest sponsored by Verizon Wireless, “My Fabulous Quince 2012.” While she won first place, she came just short of the grand prize, which was an all-expense paid ‘quince’/sweet 15 birthday party for 100 guests with an exclusive performance by Latin artist Daddy Yankee.
She did receive four Verizon smartphones, four $250 Verizon wireless gift cards, and a college scholarship. There was one grand prize winner, as well as four first prize winners from four regions: west, Midwest, south and northeast.
To enter, she had to answer several questions about her life and her goals. She wrote about the single mother who raised her, and about using technology to keep in touch with her family.
As a semi-finalist, she was assigned an ID number, short code, and personal voting page on the website www.verizoninsider.com/myfabulousquince. People could vote via text message or through the website.
One of the victors
A friend of Herrera’s mentioned the contest to her back in 2011, but she was not eligible to enter since she was not 15 yet.
“I did not lose hope because I knew that I still had a chance for next year’s contest,” said Herrera.
Her perseverance led to her winning one of the four first prizes. And she almost had Daddy Yankee, one of her favorite reggaeton artists, at her sweet 15.
“I was dumbfounded when I found out that I was the only winner in New Jersey,” said Herrera. “I never lost faith and I fought until the very end for my dream of having my sweet 15 with Daddy Yankee.”
She admitted that it was “a bittersweet feeling” to know that she was not the grand prize winner.
“I was dumbfounded when I found out that I was the only winner in New Jersey.” – Ashley Herrera
Herrera received her first phone, a Lucid LG Verizon phone, as one of her prizes.
About the other prizes, she noted, “This scholarship is something that will become of great use for helping me pay off a part of my college tuition. My scholarship is something that I greatly appreciate.”
From her family she received congratulations all around, particularly from her mother, who raised her as a single mom.
“I am grateful for being blessed with the wonderful woman who is my mother,” she said.
One of the contest questions asked Hererra what a quince means to her.
“I feel that this day is a day to appreciate 15 years of my life which I am truly grateful for,” she wrote.
Her aspiration after high school is to become a computer programmer or a system analyst. She would also like to create a website to inspire women and allow them to write their stories along with their accomplishments.
“I want to realize this dream for my future [for myself], to make my mother proud of my accomplishments, and to set an example to my family and to inspire many women in the world,” said Herrera for her contest question of what she plans to accomplish after high school.
A question asked how she’d use technology to make her dreams come true. “I would love to take advantage of the uses of the webcam to invite my family from El Salvador to share this moment even though they are miles away,” wrote Hererra. “They will be able to see everything that happens in my party and they will not be left out.”
Hererra said she probably won’t have a quince now, but may have a sweet 16.
She also said she was proud to represent New Jersey and Guttenberg in the contest.
“Someone would think there is not much to say about a small town like Guttenberg, but I have lived here most of my life and I have a lot of memories in this town,” she said. “The town is a community that is all connected; most of the people know each other.”
The contest ended Sept. 2 and for further information visit: www.verizoninsider.com/myfabulousquince.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org