There is something heartwarming about moments when celebrities unexpectedly use their platforms to elevate talented and intelligent youth.
Google, Halle Berry and Keke Palmer gave public shout-outs to Zaila Avant-garde, the first African-American crowned the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee champion on Thursday. Zaila is a little powerhouse not only because she outlasted hundreds of other kids, spelling word after word with precision, but it turns out she’s also a child prodigy too.
Zaila has also set three Guinness World Records for dribbling and juggling basketballs, too. Berry–who is an award-winning actress– shared news of Zaila’s spelling and athletic skills with her Twitter followers.
Wait … she’s our spelling bee champ and can play like this? Yes, Zaila! 👏🏽 LOVE. IT. https://t.co/TogvNklxpI
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) July 9, 2021
The New Orleans Pelicans basketball team joined the Twitter party to celebrate a young “hooper” and spelling bee champion.
A hooper too! 🏀
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 9, 2021
Palmer posted a screenshot on Instagram about Zaila’s history-making win as the first African American to take home the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion title, while sharing the story with her followers in a way they could not miss.
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Palmer could relate to Zaila’s journey, since she played the role of Akeelah, a young girl who participated in the Scripps National spelling bee in the popular movie, “Akeelah and the Bee.” The actress enthusiastically shouted out the true champion with a written message.
“THE REAL LIFE AKEELAH YOU GUYS!! The real life one. I’m so happy in my heart. A couple of weeks ago I sent in a video encouraging all the contestants and for this to happen just feels so spiritual! I am so happy. Major love to Doug Atchison that allowed me to act a dream and thank God for letting me live to see it come to fruition,” Palmer wrote.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate..” y’all know the rest 😢😭🙌🏾♥️🥰🙏🏾,” the star added.
Google went out all and celebrated Zaila’s Black Girl Magic! When people type in her name Zaila Avant-garde, a whole confetti celebration with the winning word “Murraya” is unleashed!
CNN reported that Zaila hails from New Orleans, La. The intelligent teen will be rewarded with a $50,000 cash prize as spelling champion.
“It felt really good to win because I have been working on it for like two years. So to actually win the whole thing was like a dream come true,” Zaila sad on CNN’s “New Day. “I felt like in the moment I snapped out of a surreal dream.”