NewsCovering Louisiana


LSU offers La 14-year-old national spelling bee champion a scholarship

Zaila Avant-garde of Harvey, Louisiana, became the first African American winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in its nearly 100-year history.
Posted at 1:17 PM, Jul 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-11 17:26:59-04

LSU's new president offers a 14-year-old Scripps National Spelling Bee champion and Harvey, La native, a scholarship today.

As many leaders used their social media platform to congratulate Zaila-Avant-garde, so did LSU's new president, William F. Tate IV.

"Your academic performance reflected scholarship first! You modeled intellectual excellence. @LSU_Honors awaits," he tweeted.

Avant-garde, is not your typical teenager, but a homeschooler and a professional spelling bee competitor who tries to spell about 13,000 words per day, according to the Associated Press.

She has recently won SCRIPP'S National Spelling Bee that was held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida on Thursday.

Avant-garde is now the first Louisianian and African American to be crowned.

She promised to bring the same fire to the bee that she shows on the basketball court, according to the Associated Press.

Now, the LSU president says, he writes to offer her a full scholarship to attend.

"Here for you," Tate says.

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