Local students win Southwest Airlines free travel


Three students with local connections are among 70 Hispanic students who won free travel from Southwest Airlines to and from college, it was announced today.

The winners were among 450 students who applied for the award through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

The local winners areAnnie Mendoza of San Diego, a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American literature at UC San Diego; Celina Velazquez of Ukiah, a political science freshman at UC San Diego; and Julian Sesma of Chula Vista, an incoming Georgetown University freshman majoring in biology with a focus on pre-med.

“Four the past four years, in partnership with Southwest Airlines, we have helped to make the dream of a higher education possible for students by decreasing the barrier of distance,’’ said Antonio Flores, the president and chief executive officer of HACU.

The winners receive free travel without blackout dates to any of the 64 cities where Southwest flies.