Freshman wins new car and cash

Photo by William Camargo/Daily Titan

Wednesday’s Becker Amphitheater noon concert, to the tune of Los Angeles-based rock band State to State, had 80 people listening in, but one fashionably late concert-goer was a bit unusual. Rolling in at twenty past noon: A black 2012 Ford Fiesta.

The car was the grand prize for a national Wells Fargo student contest won by Cal State Fullerton student Tasia Moore. Moore, 18, an art major, also received $6,300 in gift cards as her prize.

Wells Fargo Orange County President Ben Alvarado, who runs the bank’s Orange County region, presented Moore the $6,300 oversized check at the Becker Amphitheater stage. He then pointed out her car, which came in behind the audience next to the Clayes Performing Arts Building.

“Today happens to be my birthday, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than to give a car away,” said Alvarado. “Tasia decided to start a financial journey with us, and we’re pretty sure she’s glad she did that, because she’s the winner of our sweepstakes.”

Students had the opportunity to join the contest, which ran from April 16 to Sept. 30, by opening a student checking account at Wells Fargo or by entering online without creating a checking account on Wells Fargo’s website.

“I opened a college (checking) account, and then they automatically entered me in, and then I got a call saying I won, and I didn’t quite know I was a part of the contest. It was a big surprise,” said Moore.

The 2012 Ford Fiesta has a starting price of $14,100, according to Ford’s website.

Moore, a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority at CSUF, said she will go on a road trip with her roommate or friends, but does not know where she will go.

“Maybe San Francisco. Not somewhere too far, I like to stay relatively close,” Moore said.

But her first use of the car was going to work Wednesday night at Victoria’s Secret in Orange.

While Moore won the contest, she will not be the only CSUF student who benefits.

As part of the prize, Wells Fargo gave CSUF’s Associated Students Inc. a $5,000 gift to be used for student scholarships, Alvarado said.

ASI Vice President Katie Ayala said the $5,000 will be split into five $1,000 ASI student scholarships available for the spring 2013 semester.

“Now what we need to do is decide the name of the scholarship and some of the writing questions… We don’t know any specifics yet,” said Ayala.

These five scholarships will join about 23 scholarships ASI offers students each semester. The scholarships have requirements, such as that the applicant have a 2.5 GPA and be enrolled as a full-time student, Ayala said.

“We’re really excited that we were able to get this from Wells Fargo, they’re a great partner corporation and we’re grateful that we have more money to give to students,” said ASI President Dwayne Mason, Jr.

Nationally, Wells Fargo has a large philanthropic presence. In 2011, according to Wells Fargo’s website, the company invested $213.5 million in 19,000 nonprofits nationwide, its fourth year surpassing $200 million.

Nearly $68 million of this was given to 8,000 educational programs and schools around the U.S., as well as $18.3 million in matched education donations.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper that covers the nonprofit world, Wells Fargo ranked fourth among companies in philanthropically giving the most cash in 2011.

“We’re constantly doing scholarships and we’re one of the largest non-profit givers in the country, so we’re always doing things locally… We’re constantly contributing to the community through different programs,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado, who started at Wells Fargo as a teller and has been with the company for nearly 22 years, said the company invests in college students so they can be more financially literate.

“This is a time in your life when you are learning about credit… You’re learning how to prepare your finances so that you can go off and do the things you want to do from a financial perspective and put your education to work,” Alvarado said.

About Tim Worden

Tim is a senior journalism major at Cal State Fullerton and is serving his second semester as copy editor for the Daily Titan. He plans on becoming a reporter and copy editor after graduating in May. In his free time, he enjoys reading.

About Chris Konte

When Chris isn’t dedicating his life to providing important news to the good students of Cal State Fullerton, you can find him on a basketball court or behind a piano at a fine bar. He graduates this summer with a degree in communications.