MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee held contests in Dallas and Houston to find the best speller in the asian (Indian American) community. With a huge turnout this year as well, the Bee attracted some top talent as well as young and new spellers that competed for the coveted prizes and titles.
In the Dallas Regional, Ananya Kodali (14) of Highland Village, Texas was the regional champ, Rohan Rajeev (13) of Edmond, Oklahoma, was the first runner up, and, Smrithi Upadhyayula (14) of Coppell, Texas, was second runner up.
In Houston, Raksheet Kota (13) from Katy, Texas was named regional champ, Alex Iyer (13) from Hill, Texas was first runner up. Abhirami Jeeyseelan (13) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana second runner-up.
The event is open to children of South Asian descent up to 14 years of age and was organized by the South Asian advertising firm Touchdown Media Inc. and sponsored by MetLife, a leading global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management.
The 2016 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee is scheduled to be conducted in 12 locations across the United States. Regional level events will be held in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, D.C. Metro, New Jersey, New York and Boston. All events will be free to attend and open to the public. Accra, Ghana was announced as the 13thcenter from where spellers of South Asian descent will qualify for the finals.
“For the past eight years, the Bee has consistently provided a firm platform for the community to come together and hone their craft. It’s become a family activity that contributes towards the overall development of the child. We are proud to enter our Ninth consecutive year and look forward to engaging some of these wonderful spellers,” said Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee and CEO of Touchdown Media Inc.
The top two spellers of each regional competition will advance to the finals to be held in New Jersey in August. Similar to previous years MetLife has once again funded the $10,000 champion’s grand prize that will be awarded to the winner at the finals.