LAS VEGAS – A Filipino American 7th grade student will be the only representative of Nevada to compete at the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee beginning Wednesday, May 25.
Alyssa Mangio, 13, topped the Nevada State Spelling Bee on March 5 and will travel to National Harbor, Maryland where the competition will be held.
“It makes me want to work harder so that I can start from a small beginning because our school is not very big. Then I can reach out to more,” Mangio said.
She said that words derived from German are among the toughest words she encountered, however, she is not backing down as she gets support from her family and coaches at school.
“There are a lot of words, especially the ones with x’s, and it’s kind of difficult. German words are usually the hardest. French, it’s the definition that gets you off. Other than that, it’s easy,” she said.
She’s memorizing words from the dictionary, practicing spelling with her family at home.
Mangio’s parents said what is important for their daughter is to have fun and experience what it is like to be in a national competition.
“As a family, what is important is education. That’s a big thing for us as Filipinos. You want to inculcate that thought in their minds and eventually they just pick it up and take off on their own,” Mangio’s dad Warren said.
“It’s all on her so she has to enjoy it. We just have to pray for her, but I’m nervous,” Mangio’s mom Monina added.
The spelling bee organizers are expected to raise the bar at this year’s competition by including harder words and longer rounds.
Mangio and her family are scheduled to leave on Saturday, May 21. She is asking kababayans in the valley to support her in winning the gold.
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