NEW YORK — After walking the runway to the beat of “Oye Como Va,” Willy Vega, 17, of Miami, and Jennifer Mejia, 17, of Puerto Rico were selected as the winners of J.C. Penney’s Hispanic model search, called Modelo Mundial-World Model 2003, at the Radisson Biscayne Bay Hotel in Miami last Saturday.

Vega and Mejia each will receive $10,000 in scholarships, an appearance on Univision network’s segment,“Control,” a professional photo portfolio and a $1,000 Penney’s gift card.

Runners-up were Alma-Lucia Andrade, 19, of Phoenix, and Alexis Gueits, 21, of Puerto Rico, who will each receive $5,000 scholarships and a $500 Penney’s gift card, among other gifts. The four also will have the opportunity to appear in Penney’s advertising.

More than 2,000 students ages 16 to 21entered the model search this spring. Contestants were required to have B averages or better. Because Hispanic youth represent the highest rate of high school attrition in the U.S., Modelo Mundial focuses on contestants’ educational accomplishments and goals.

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