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Student Wins Trip to Rose Parade


Zac at the airport

Image caption: Zac at the airport

Zachary McCarter, a Junior Achievement (JA) student from Belmont was one of two JA students from across the United States selected to help decorate The UPS Store float at this year’s Rose Parade®. Last November, students had the opportunity to submit a video about their JA experience for a chance to win a trip to Pasadena, California, to attend the Rose Parade® on New Year’s Day, 2024, as guests of Junior Achievement and The UPS Store, and to help decorate The UPS Store and JA-themed float, “The Beat of Achievement!” The float showcased a musical crocodile accompanied by a group of flamingos and other birds.

“I’m so thankful to Junior Achievement and The UPS Store for making this dream a reality for me and my family. I remember coming home from my field trip [to Junior Achievement] and being so pumped to tell my parents about how cool it is to learn about managing money,” commented Zac. “And, when I heard about the opportunity to make a video about what I learned at Junior Achievement for a chance to win a trip to the Rose Bowl, it was a no brainer.”

Image caption: Zac & dad decorating float

Their week in Pasadena was action pacted!
Zac and his dad had the opportunity to help put the finishing touches on The Beat of Achievement float, which won the Bob Hope Humor award for showcasing the most whimsical and amusing entry.  Zac was also interviewed by a local news crew.
Both Zac and his dad were both amazed at just how intricate the process was to attach flowers and assemble the beautiful Rose Parade floats.
On Saturday, they toured Hollywood, visited the Griffith Observatory, ate at the Rainbow Room and took in a concert at the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go.
They arrived very early on Sunday for the Rose Parade and had prime seating.  Zac's mother, Sandi, who was watching from home commented that "those of us watching back home even got a glimpse of Zac's hand on TV. We could identify him easily because of the bright green shirt they were provided."

Image caption: Zac & dad at Rose Bowl

After the parade, the McCarters attended the Rose Bowl game, had excellent seats, and celebrated a Michigan win.  And, to add the cherry on top, Zac ran into Michael Waltrip, NASCAR commentator and former driver, while traveling back to Charlotte.
In the words of Zac, "it was a trip of a life-time...I had a blast!"

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