Spelling Bee Champ Zaila Avant-garde receives another full scholarship offer

Zaila Avant-garde National Spelling Bee winner

Zaila Avant-garde attends the 2021 ESPY Awards at Rooftop At Pier 17 on July 10, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The news of her big win came over a week ago, but it seems National Spelling Bee Champion Zaila Avant-garde will be feeling the effects for life.

The 14-year-old Harvey native is the first Black winner of the bee and only the second Black champion in the bee’s 96-year-history.

On July 10, Southern University President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton took to Twitter to announce that SU and A&M College in Baton Rouge is offering Zaila a full scholarship.

Additionally, the University will work to schedule a personalized “Zaila Day” on campus, where Zaila can meet with student leaders, faculty, alumni and more! 

Earlier the same day, LSU’s new President, Dr. William Tate, offered Zaila a full scholarship to attend LSU.

Zaila has described spelling as a side hobby, although she routinely practiced for seven hours a day. She is a basketball prodigy who hopes to play in the WNBA and holds three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. 

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