First Generation Ethiopian American Wins North Carolina Spelling Bee

Nejat Alkadir, 12, a seventh-grader at Ledford Middle School in Davidson County, NC has won the 72nd Winston-Salem Journal Regional Spelling Bee. (The Winston-Salem Journal)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Seventh-grader Nejat Alkadir at Ledford Middle School in Davidson County, North Carolina spelled the final word correctly at a local spelling bee conetst to win a spot at the national finals in Washington, D.C.

“A first-generation American, whose mother came to North Carolina barely speaking English, bested 31 other students Sunday to win the 72nd annual Winston-Salem Journal Regional Spelling Bee,” reported the Winston-Salem Journal.

“Nejat Alkadir, a seventh-grader at Ledford Middle School in Davidson County, spelled “suggestible” correctly to clinch the win and earn a trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C. She went back and forth with second-place finisher Dharani Govindasamy of Guilford County. Then he tripped over “twoling,” which is a type of crystal.

“He was really smart,” an ecstatic Nejat said after the contest. “When he missed the word, I knew that was my chance.”

Her father said he was proud of his daughter and he is going to buy her a cellphone as a reward. “She’s got a good mind,” said Aminu Alemu, in an interview with The Winston-Salem Journal. He noted that in Ethiopian culture, children take the father’s middle name instead of the last. “God give it to her,” Alemu said. “I’m very proud.”

Read more at the Winston-Salem Journal.

9 Responses to “First Generation Ethiopian American Wins North Carolina Spelling Bee”

  1. 1 kim Mar 20th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Keep up the good work Nejat!

  2. 2 Hanna Mar 20th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Congratulations Nejat! Good luck at the finals!

  3. 3 Debre Tabor Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:24 am

    And father you should be proud. Great a-c-c-o-m-p-l-i-s-h-m-e-n-t-!

  4. 4 Ras Mar 21st, 2012 at 1:12 am


  5. 5 Mahammud Mar 22nd, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Congraultion Nejat
    Congratulation father Aminu, Mother Siti, sister Hayat and brother Hamza, this is a collective effort.
    How proud I am to be a close family member, great job.
    Hope I will join you at the final.
    Good Luck,

  6. 6 Adam Nguyen Mar 23rd, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Congratulations Nejat, I was one of the competitors in that bee, Adam Nguyen, representing Wilkes County Schools. I failed on the word “Wiccan”. You should remember but congratulations and do good at the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

  7. 7 Michale Mar 26th, 2012 at 6:26 am


  8. 8 ahmed mehamed May 28th, 2012 at 2:31 am

    congratulations nejat, keep it up !

  9. 9 Elizabeth May 28th, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Congratulation Dear,we are proud of you!!

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