San Jose, CA — After more than 6 million text and online votes, 14-year-old San Jose teen, Athaly R., has been crowned winner of the Verizon Wireless "My Fabulous 15" contest. She has been awarded a dream-come-true Quinceañera party valued at approximately $45,000. The party package includes food for 200 guests, a formal dress, transportation to and from the party; pink LG Venus cellphones for Athaly's court of closest friends, and a private, live concert by hip-hop artist Sean Kingston.
"I still can't believe I won this," said Athaly. "There were so many amazing candidates. I am honored to have been chosen. My family is so happy. No one in my family has ever had a party like this!"
Athaly came to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was seven-years-old, speaking no English. Today, she is proud of having learned the language fluently and attends school regularly. Although she has always dreamt of a Quinceañera party, she knew that her parents couldn't afford it and that was the reason she never asked them for a celebration. Her father was recently diagnosed with a health condition, which caused further financial strain on the family. Athaly said that winning this Fabulous 15 party would make her the happiest girl in the world and her only hope, just like thousands of teenagers in the United States, was to win "My Fabulous 15" party and celebrate her coming of age.
"The response has been extraordinary," said Oscar Madrid, director of marketing for Verizon Wireless. "More than 6 million text message votes and 500,000 online votes were cast to pick the winner. Participation was much higher than we expected. Almost 3,000 teens from Los Angeles, San Jose/San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver and Portland entered to win."
Two runners-up, Martha G. from South Gate in Los Angeles County and Jessika R. from Orange County, have won pep rallies at their respective schools. These events include a DJ, green screen, Dance Dance Revolution video game and other giveaways.