In The Know

LSU president offers National Spelling Bee winner full scholarship

Louisiana State University (LSU) on Saturday offered Zaila Avant-garde, the first African American contestant to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a full scholarship.

In a tweet on Saturday, LSU President William F. Tate IV said Avant-garde, 14, “performed at the highest level in the National Spelling Bee.”

“Your academic performance reflected scholarship first! You modeled intellectual excellence,” he tweeted. “@LSU_Honors awaits. I write to offer you a full scholarship to attend LSU. Here for you!” 

Avant-garde, who hails from Harvey, drew headlines this week for her historic win at the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night. She won the competition in the 18th round after besting her opponents with the correct spelling of the word “murraya.”

The victory marked the first time in the history of the 96-year-old competition that an African American contestant won the contest.

The moment comes roughly two decades after Jody-Anne Maxwell, who is from Jamaica, became the first Black contestant to win the competition in 1998. 

Avant-garde has drawn attention following her win. The teen has garnered praise in the past few days for her athletic prowess after it was noted the same child has notched multiple Guinness World Records for basketball, according to USA Today.

She reportedly aspires to become a WNBA player.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video