CommunitySpirit of Acadiana


Spirit of Acadiana: Scripps Spelling Bee Champ visits Lafayette Middle

Zaila Avant Garde in Lafayette.PNG
Posted at 6:31 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 09:17:08-05

National Spelling Bee Champion, Sports Illustrated cover model and holder of three Guinness Book World Records, Zaila Avant-Garde was in Lafayette on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old made her way from her hometown of Harvey to Lafayette Middle School to speak to students and pass on a fantastic message.

While she doesn't see herself as a motivational speaker, Avant-Garde says she knows that kids respond better to kids. So her message was goal-drive, all about keeping their eyes on the prize.

"Whatever it is that they want to do, and I'm sure they all have different things that they want to do when they get older, not to be deterred from it by anything," Avant-Garde said.

Students at Lafayette Middle said that Avant-Garde's messages resonated with them.

"She says to just zone out all of the pressure, because if you think about pressure, you're gonna have it. And if you don't, you don't have it," said 8th grader Journey Martin.

"Inspire others and her ability to just focus on what you're doing. And always have positive in your mind, so you won't be confused," Tyriel Thomas, another eight-grader.

"I just want to say how amazing it is that kids our age can be doing such amazing things. And it makes me think, 'what can I do'," said 8th grader Tobias Cormier.

Before her talk with students, Avant-Garde was presented with several awards, accolades and keys to the city from various dignitaries.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Subscribe to our Youtube channel