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Two teens represent SWFL at Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 11:54 AM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 20:13:39-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — When the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals air next week, Southwest Florida viewers will be rooting for two of their own.

13-year-old Jose Garcia of Fort Myers and 14-year-old Naresh Ram of Naples are in the running to compete in the 2022 spelling championships.

They are two of 234 spellers who earned their spots by advancing through regional bees, competing against students representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense schools in Europe. Spellers will also represent four countries outside the U.S.: the Bahamas, Canada, Germany and Ghana.

Naresh plays the cello and piano. When he's not studying hard at Oakridge Middle School, he loves to watch Premier League soccer, tennis, and basketball.

Jose goes to Challenger Middle School and volunteers to help kids with special needs. When not hitting the books, he enjoys singing with his sister and playing the guitar.

The National Spelling Bee is organized by WFTX parent The E.W. Scripps Company. The quarterfinals are Tuesday, May 31, and the semifinals June 1. The finals will air Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET on ION Television — found over the air on channel 36.5.