This 11-year-old spell-bee wizard will leave you spell-bound!4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
The New Year brings with it a sense of wonder! And who better to celebrate this wonder than the wonderful Akash Vukoti!
Akash Vukoti competed in his first spelling bee when he was all of 2.
At 3, he became a member of the high IQ society, MENSA.
He became a Davidson Young Scholar at the age of 5.
At 6, he made it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee making him the youngest person ever to compete at the nationals in Washington DC.
In 2016, he became a part of the premiere episode for Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots.
If Akash’s achievements have you in a dizzy spell, then hold on! There’s more—
Since 2016, there has been no looking back for Akash who went on to be featured across multimedia platforms, the latest being the 2020 award winning Netflix documentary, Spelling the Dream. In 2020, Akash received the Global Child Prodigy Award and the Global Kids Achiever’s Award.
Fun Fact: In 2017, Akash was a part of Dancing with the Stars Juniors making him the youngest and first South-Asian celebrity competitor on the popular reality TV show!
Owliver met up with this wiz-kid to welcome the new year with style!
Let’s get to know him!
What does he regard as his biggest achievement?
All of 11, Akash has achieved more than what most can dream of in a lifetime. Hard as it is for him to find one that he holds dearest, Akash returns to the memory of being at Little Big Shots as a monumental moment in his life. Akash says, “Being featured on Little Big Shots in 2016 kickstarted my entire career on television. It helped advance my career from just about spellings to so much more. Mr. Harvey (the host of the show) is the man who introduced me to the whole world! He encouraged me to bring out the best of me before the world.”
What keeps him going?
It is Akash’s love for languages that keeps him going! Akash adds, “I was 2 when I competed in my first spelling bee. So, my interest in it was mostly self-driven. My parents encouraged me by creating a favourable environment for me to thrive in.”
Who inspires him?
Akash derives inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi (Remember Owliver’s feature?).
Akash says, “In life, I regard Mahatma Gandhi as my role model. His principle of ahimsa and the idea of the ‘pen being mightier than the sword’ motivate me, endlessly.”
Quick 5 with Akash:
Favourite subject: English, geography, and maths
Favourite movie: Bahubali 1 and 2
Favourite book: Wikipedia. To Akash, it’s like an online book on everything that ever existed!
Favourite people: His family
Favourite word: Watch the video for that!
Here’s Akash spelling out his favourite word. Figure it out and let Owliver know in the comments below!
Hint: It’s the longest word in the dictionary .
How does he unwind?
In his free time, Akash can be found browsing through this favourite ‘book’, Wikipedia. He adds, “I also love playing with my sister— she is the best sister in the world! I also play shuttlecock and basketball.” Akash loves languages and learning more about them. He says, “I like coding! It is like a language, too!
I also love studying the logos and graphic design choices of different companies. Everything is interesting to me!”
What comes next?
Akash has big plans for his life! He says, “In the overall graph of life, no matter what I do the expected outcome of my future is becoming an adult Akash! But jokes aside, in the short term, I will like to become a spelling bee champion at the Nationals. In the long run, I want to become a TV show host or maybe go into public service, maybe even become the president of the United States of America. Who knows?!”
Here’s Akash’s message for our young readers—
And like Akash, Owliver hopes that all your dreams for 2021 come true!
One of Owliver’s resolutions is to learn to spell better. Tell us about yours in the comments section, below.
(Trailblazers is a weekly column that celebrates youngsters who are inventors and experts in their fields)