Training and competing in spelling bees aren’t what most kids think about when they are growing up, but for one girl, it is a calling from above.
Kaylee E. Kim, daughter of Maj. Samuel K. Kim, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division chaplain, said that she loves to compete in spelling competitions.
“I love spelling and learning new words,” said Kaylee. “Language arts has always been my favorite subject at school.”
Kaylee went on to explain that every since her 1st grade classroom spelling bee, that she won by spelling watermelon, she was hooked on spelling competitions.
“I had a feeling that this was what God wanted me to do,” said Kaylee. “I loved words just as some kids might love TV or video games.”
Kaylee’s journey to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, started with three different phases of competitions. The first phase was winning her school competition. The second phase was winning the competition for her district. The last phase was winning her county competition.
Training for each phase of competitions took a lot of time and dedication Kaylee said.
“I train about one or two hours on a week day and about three or four hours on weekends,” said Kaylee. “I usually look over the words and definitions whenever I have a spare minute so I can get familiar with them.”
She also explained how her Family helps her whenever they can.
“My Family has been the main target for helping me study and without all their patience, kindness, support, encouragement, gentleness and love, I couldn’t have gotten this far,” said Kaylee.
When kids compete in competitions they would usually be nervous when on stage but for Kaylee this wasn’t the case.
“I am extremely nervous when I am offstage, but when I am actually participating in the competition itself, I become calm and confident,” said Kaylee. “The thing that helps me the most though, is thinking that God is carrying out his plan and it always turns out as the best decision.”
Many things are running through a kid’s mind while standing on stage and asked to spell a word. This is no different for Kaylee.
“I try to figure out if it’s a word I’m familiar with or if it’s a word that I have never heard of or seen before,” said Kaylee. “The whole time while I’m standing in front of the microphone spelling my word, I am praying to God to help me over and over again.
“Thankfully, He answers my innumerable prayers and helps me spell the word correctly,” she added.
With more than 11 million people participating in the competition worldwide, 281 competitors took to the stage during the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Kaylee placed 43rd overall in the competition.
“I am planning to continue with spelling competitions until there aren’t any more that I can participate in,” said Kaylee. “I think it’s a great way to use the spelling talent God has blessed me with.”