Meet the high school students selected for a free trip to Asia!

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We are excited to announce that Jesus Estrada and Sonny Jefferson are the winners of the Discover Asia Correspondent Contest. They will each receive an expense-paid five-day, six-night trip courtesy of Korean Air to the destination of their choice in Asia to explore a topic of personal interest. A team of judges who are editors and Asia correspondents at the L.A. Times selected Jesus and Sonny from 227 entries representing 109 local high schools.

Jesus, a senior at Libra Academy at Marquez High School, is taking his love of public transportation to Singapore to investigate its innovation transportation system.

“I began to love public transportation ever since I began relying on it more in eleventh grade. I had always enjoyed taking the trains, but when I saw how useful and beneficial Metro was, I became interested in its expansion projects that could possibly help Los Angeles let go of the car. By going to Singapore, I would be able to document what makes state of the art public transportation feasible for a large metropolis.”

Sonny,  a senior at St. Genevieve High School, will explore her passion for anime in Japan.

“Although I have met many obstacles throughout my life, they have never stopped me from dreaming about traveling to Japan.  When I was in the 8th grade, I discovered anime. With struggles at home, I found that anime allowed me to escape my current reality into a world of fantasy where characters were not ashamed of who they are …  I have long dreamed of going to Tokyo, Japan. I want to experience their culture and explore all of the other layers of sub-cultures that are hidden within Japan.”

Both students are planning to travel over spring break, and will be honored at the 2016 Festival of Books. The other finalists were Jenna Ortiz (Bonita), Kevin Cervantes (Libra Academy) and Matthew Louie (Mark Keppel).

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