10/18/05 — He may be restaurant's next 'Jared'

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He may be restaurant's next 'Jared'

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 18, 2005 1:46 PM

Trying to live a healthy lifestyle is already paying off for one fifth-grader in Wayne County.

Jose Ferretti Alyea, 11, a student at St. Mary School, has been named one of 10 Subway Champions from across the country to receive a $10,000 college scholarship.

He spent this past weekend in Dallas, meeting the other winners and filming a television commercial that will air for the next 24 months.

Jose Ferretti Alyea

Photo submitted

Jose Ferretti Alyea, recently named one of 10 national "Subway Champions" in a contest to promote health and fitness among young people, is shown surfing, one of the many activities he enjoys.

His father, Brant Alyea, a manager at Toyota of Goldsboro, said his family frequents the area Subway shops to eat. During a recent visit, they saw the advertisement for the Subway Champions contest promoting healthy habits for children. Jose decided to submit an entry on-line.

"He wrote in there it's important to have a balanced nutrition and stay active," Alyea said, not difficult because this young man actually practices what he preaches.

"He's always doing something - soccer, swim team, karate team, surfing," Alyea said. "He's a very good student.

Pictures chosen for Jose's entry illustrated the point. They included Jose participating in a karate tournament, surfing at Atlantic Beach and one in the family's homeland of Brazil with a monkey on his shoulder.

Alyea said his wife, Gioconda Ferretti Alyea, collected everything and sent in the winning entry. But when the family was first notified that Jose had been chosen a top 10 finalist, they were skeptical.

"They sent us an e-mail, but you know, you get a lot of e-mails," Alyea said. "We had to call and confirm it."

The $10,000 scholarship will be held in a special account until it is time for Jose to go to college, Alyea said.

Jose also received $500 spending money and other prizes, and he and his father were flown to Dallas on Friday for the presentation and filming of the national commercial.

The family moved to Wayne County almost four years ago from Brazil. Mr. and Mrs. Alyea, who have two other children, ages 13 and 5, said they were happy about the prize and proud of their middle child.

"It's kind of exciting that he was chosen for something like this," Alyea said.

Mrs. Alyea had a more humble assessment of Jose, describing him as a quiet student who enjoys school and likes animals.

"He's just a normal boy," she said. "He's interested in sports and he has a healthy lifestyle."

She said the whole scholarship-winning announcement is still a bit overwhelming.

"It was unexpected," she said. "When I made the registration, I was not expecting anything."