You’ve probably heard people talk about how you shouldn’t give up on your dreams, how you shouldn’t let anything get in the way of achieving your ultimate goal...
Well, my dream is to compete in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee!
Since 3rd grade, I’ve been participating in school and regional spelling bees. I’ve developed a love for words and their applications, forms, and most importantly, spellings. It is my dream to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and I’ve come very close very many times. Both last year and this year, I placed second in the regional spelling bee. Only the winner receives financial sponsorship to go to the national finals. Since my first school spelling bee win in 4th grade, when I went on to place 10th in the Regional Bee, I have aspired to reach my biggest goal before it’s too late.
Students in grades 3 through 8 are eligible for the Scripps National Spelling Bee and this is my last possible year to participate. I know that if I don’t commit and follow through, I will regret it for a very long time.
Last year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee launched a program called RSVBee which allows school spelling bee winners to enter the national contest, stating that it is their “sincere effort to take a step toward fairness.” They cite three reasons for this need for more fairness:
1. Different numbers of programs per state: Some states, such as Ohio, sponsor as many as 18 regional champs to pay for travel and admittance expenses, whereas other states, such as Georgia, send only one speller even though 1,300 schools in the state participate! Colorado, which I am bidding to represent, only sponsors two champions even though more than 340 schools participate in the program. 2. Areas with no sponsor: There are many areas in various states that have local sponsors who pay for trips to Bee Week, but there are many that do not. By entering via RSVBee, a speller may make an effort to get sponsorships from their community. 3. Varying levels of competition: Many large cities have increasingly competitive programs in which a speller may spend each year of his or her eligibility coming in second to the same speller. This is precisely the situation in my regional bee in Boulder, CO: the same speller qualified for his 3rd trip to the national bee in 5 years this year. Coincidentally, when he didn’t win last year, he entered the National Bee via RSVBee and was one of the 50 finalists! AND, a speller from Texas who entered via RSVBee last year actually WON THE WHOLE THING!
The cost of self-funding participation in the Scripps National Bee is substantial. There is a $1,500 entrance fee in addition to air travel ($500), a requirement to stay 6 nights at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center ($2,500) and meals and incidentals ($500). I plan to go to local businesses and ask for sponsorship, and together with this page, I hope to bring available funds to a level where my family and I can pay for the rest.
I hope my story inspires you to support my goal. I thank the Scripps National Spelling Bee for providing this opportunity and making it possible for me to fulfill my ambition. Thank YOU too, for being a part of my dream. Please help send me, Henry Stauch, to Washington D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee from May 26 to 31, 2019!