Nearly 50 Indian American youth, including four from Europe, Ghana, South Korea and the Virgin Islands, have been named Scripps National Spelling Bee state finalists.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational spelling bee, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.
This year, 281 spellers will compete for the title of 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion scheduled for May 28 to 30.
The Indian youth competing, according to state or country, are:
Meghana Krishna Giri. A member of the National Honor Society, Meghana has received awards for achieving the highest academic average in science, history, English, math, humanities and reading for the past four years.
Chythanya Murali. Her role model is Mahatma Gandhi and she would love to meet President Barack Obama. Her favorite subject in school is world history, and she hopes to pursue a career in cardiology.
Aditya Mishra. Aditya would like to become a computer and software engineer, following in the footsteps of his father Anil. He is making his debut appearance in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, three years after his older sister Anvita competed in the event.
Neha Konakalla. Her favorite subject is science, and she hopes to become a doctor when she grows up.
Himanvi Kopuri. As a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Kopuri has aspirations of a career in cardiovascular surgery.
Keshav Ramesh. He has passed level three of the Musicianship Achievement Program in piano with honors, and recently placed third at the South Windsor Patriotic Commission Painting & Essay Contest.
Anuk Dayaprema. Anuk is the three-time defending champion of the U.S. Department of Defense Europe Spelling Bee and is making his third trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Nikitha Chandran. Nikitha serves as student council treasurer at her school and has been admitted to the International Baccalaureate program for 2013-2014. Her favorite school subject is science and she hopes to one day pursue a career as a forensic scientist.
Tarun Neelavannan. He excels in math and science, placing second in equations at the Florida State Academic Games and winning the regional science fair. He would like to become a forensic scientist one day.
Anchita Khurana. After skipping fourth grade, Anchita participated in the Georgia State Spelling Bee in 2010 as a fifth grader and is excited to make her first trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Rohit H. Sahijwani. When he finds the time, he loves to sit near the airport and watch the planes take off and land, and he wants to be a pilot when he grows up.
Meghana Kamineni. Meghana excels at math, winning the Mathcounts Joliet Chapter competition and advancing to the Illinois State competition in March. She also won the local Math Bowl in 2012 and participated in the 2013 American Math Competition.
Pranav Sivakumar. This year, he won best research paper and best-in-category project in astronomy in the junior division of the Illinois Junior Academy of Science.
Isra Ansari. Isra hopes to study medicine one day, following in the footsteps of older sister Imaan, who is a pre-med at the University of Illinois, and her father Nadeem, an internist who has practiced for 20 years in her community.
Ram Koganti. When he’s at school, he plays tennis and is a member of both the academic team and the robotics team.
Minka Gill. Minka has won three consecutive gold medals in the Indiana State School Music Association choir contest.
Vanya Shivashankar. Vanya is already making her third appearance in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, following in the footsteps of her sister Kavya, who was a four-time participant and the 2009 national champion.
Tara R. Singh. A Davidson Institute Young Scholar, Tara is currently learning Latin and Greek at school and is studying Hindi at home.
Neha Seshadri. Neha could also make a case for being a "Quadruple Bee" girl: she has been a national finalist in science, spelling, geography and vocabulary bees through the North South Foundation.
Gurjiwan Singh Chahal. He won his school's geography bee this year and is advancing to the National Geographic Bee.
Kuvam Nirad Shahane. Kuvam placed second in the Michigan Math League and made the hall of fame in the Michigan National Math Pentathlon.
Gokul Venkatachalam. Gokul excels at math and would like to become a scientist one day.
Indrani Das. Indrani earned first place at her school and was a national honor roll qualifier in the 2012 American Math Contest for eighth grade.
Roshni R. Kainthan. At every spelling bee, she makes sure to sport her lucky charm necklace and bracelets, beloved gifts from her third grade teacher.
Ryan Devanandan. Ryan, who hopes to one day pursue a career as a psychiatrist.
Sriram J. Hathwar. Sriram's first time competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee was in 2008, and he tied for 37th place in 2009 and for 6th place in 2011.
Abirami Ratnakumar. First Lego League robotics is her favorite activity, and she wants to be an engineer when she grows up.
Sai Vishudhi Chandrasekhar. Sai is dedicated to academics, as demonstrated by her recent Irwin Altman Award for Excellence in Education, and participates in debate and Science Olympiad teams.
Arvind V. Mahankali. Arvind is making his fourth consecutive trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He placed ninth in 2010 and finished in third place in both 2011 and 2012.
Manu U. Nair. Manu plans to translate his skills in math and science into a career as a neurosurgeon.
Ashwin Veeramani. He aspires to be like Bill Gates, hoping to expand his primary interest in engineering into innovative product development.
Divya Amirtharaj. In 2011, she was the state champion in the Oregon Battle of the Books, a program that inspires students to broaden their reading interests.
Shreyas P. Parab. This year, he will be visiting Australia as a student ambassador with People to People, a youth exchange program.
Jacob George. Jacob is a huge hockey fan. When he grows up, he wants to be a National Hockey League goalie.
Aditya Mohankumar Rao. His role model is his maternal great grand aunt, who was acclaimed for her books, some of which she published before she graduated from college, and her social service to women in socioeconomic distress.
Aparajita Rao. She is learning Spanish, French and Hindi and enjoys studying medical terms from Greek and Latin.
Ashraya Ananthanarayanan. When she isn’t studying, she is writing articles and books; she is the author of the children’s book “Ring of Hope,” and “ARIA,” a book of poetry.
Hrishikesh Sanjay Srinivasan. Hrishikesh, or "Rishi," attends the Busan International School in South Korea, where he participates in Model United Nations, plays violin in his school's string ensemble and serves on the student council.
Rahul S. Krishnaswamy. His love of travel is reflected in his love of geography and amateur photography, and his aspiring career as a flight simulator pilot.
Chetan G. Reddy. Chetan is a seasoned veteran of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and is making his fourth consecutive appearance in the Bee this year.
Shobha Dasari. Shobha's role model is 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion Kavya Shivashankar, who won the Bee the same year Shobha started competitive spelling.
Swati Sharma. One of her role models is Beauford Delaney, a famous African-American artist and civil-rights activist during the Harlem Renaissance.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Manav A. Thadani. He has earned a variety of honors and awards, including 14 chess tournament awards, 10 Mathcounts awards, a flag football award and five cultural dancing awards.
Vismaya J. Kharkar. Vismaya is making her third consecutive appearance in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and is looking to improve on her tenth-place finish at the 2012 Bee.
Kirtan Dharmendra Patel. Kirtan plans to pursue a career in medicine when he grows up.
Yashna Rajendra Nainani. She has also placed in a variety of other competitions including first place in the Hanover Tavern essay contest, first in her school's Reading Olympians program, and first place in a dance competition.
Aarohi Srivastava. Aarohi attended the West Virginia Governor's School for Math and Science in the summer of 2012.
Aisha Khan. Aisha's favorite subject is science, and she would like to pursue a career in oncology.