Miami-Dade County Spelling Bee Champ!

Miami-Dade County Spelling Bee Champ!

Miami-Dade County Spelling Bee Champ!

Miami-Dade County Spelling Bee Champ!
Congratulations to the winner of the Miami-Dade County Spelling Bee, Vasundara Govindarajan!

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, sixth-grader ( Archimedean School in Miami) Vasundara won the Miami-Dade spelling competition, sponsored by the The Miami Herald, and earned a spot to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which were held in May in Washington, D.C. Following in her older brother Vaidya’s footsteps, Vasundra won the top place by spelling the word “epulation,” which means “feasting” or “banqueting.” At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Vasundara made it to round four, but in our eyes, she’s a spelling champ for her accomplishments!

In this issue, Desh-Videsh chatted with the young speller to learn more about what drives and inspires her.

Who do you consider to be a mentor and why?
My brother is my role model and mentor. He inspired me a lot through his competitions and intelligence.

Has religion played a role in your success or your life? If so, how?
Yes, I go to Chinmaya Bala Vihar for the purpose of staying focused and respecting parents.

International fame at 12 when most cannot taste it all their life. What does it mean to you?
I am humbled, and I haven’t achieved my goal yet. I hope this doesn’t distract me from staying the course.

The final moments, can you recount them for us?
The word was “reseau” and I knew the word. Stage fright distracted me and said “raseau.”

After this, there must be larger goals and greater heights to be scaled. What can we expect next?
I am still pursuing my goal of winning the championship, and I hope I win the local bees for the next two years.

What relevance does being Indian American have to you? Has it given you an edge?
Focus on education is coming from my Indian American parents. It has made me excel in class and spelling.

Beneath all of this, who is the real Vasundara Govindarajan?
You mean the girl who plays on pokemon and watches We Bare Bears? My parents say I am very playful.

Many people feel that a young achiever is made of a sheer spark and plenty of luck. How much of a role did hard work made in your pursuit? Is there a mantra that you would like to share with other young aspirants? I spend hours listening to my coach (dad) and studying. My parents always say that if you didn’t take the initial steps,

Many people feel that a young achiever is made of a sheer spark and plenty of luck. How much of a role did hard work made in your pursuit? Is there a mantra that you would like to share with other young aspirants?
I spend hours listening to my coach (dad) and studying. My parents always say that if you didn’t take the initial steps, you will never finish the journey. You have to be diligent in taking those steps and leave the rest to god.

You cannot deny that fame come with this achievement. You are now being searched on Google, being interviewed, and have become a role model. Has it changed who you are?
No, I am still the same kid who likes to sleep a lot and playful.

Favorite Indian Book: Mahabharata

Favorite Non-Indian Book:
All Rick Riordan’s books

Favorite Indian Movie: Abhiyum Naanum (in Tamil)

Favorite Non-Indian Movie: Sponge Bob movies