Not even out of high school yet and Zaila Avant-garde has received three full-ride scholarship offers!


Millions across the world watched the adorable scholar correctly spell the word, “Murraya,” and make history becoming the first African-American winner in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Among those watching were several distinguished Louisiana universities and they have all offered Zaila a place among their future student bodies.

The president of Southern University excitedly tweeted, “I am pleased to announce that @Southernu_BR is offering #ZailaAvantgarde a full scholarship and “#Zaila Day” at SU, part of the nation’s only #HBCU system. Our student leaders, faculty, and alumni look forward meeting with you. We welcome you to the #JaguarNation! #WeAreSouthern.”

In addition to Southern University, LSU offered the teen a scholarship as well.

President William Tate IV tweated, “Zaila Avant-garde @basketballasart performed at the highest level in the National Spelling Bee. Your academic performance reflected scholarship first! You modeled intellectual excellence. @LSU_Honors awaits. I write to offer you a full scholarship to attend LSU. Here for you!”

Sweetening the offer, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System became the first institution to offer Zaila a scholarship to attend any state-wide community and technical college.

Although truly humbled by the offers, Zaila has stated that she has her sights set on Harvard.

On the heels of her big win, Zaila, three-time basketball Guinness World Record holder, hit the red carpet to enjoy this year’s Espy Awards

The young teen said while being interviewed on the red carpet, “I’m feeling pretty good. I still can’t quite believe that I won Scripps National Spelling Bee, so I’m still waiting for that to settle in. So I guess my weekend is gonna get even more exciting when I realize.”

We cannot wait to see what the future holds for this truly amazing young person. We are excited to be along for the journey.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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