DFW 8th graders take different paths to Scripps Spelling Bee


NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There are 26 letters in the alphabet and it takes a special skill to spell many of the infinite words those letters can form.

Two North Texas 8th graders are well aware of the challenges as they have qualified for the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Lindsey Roberts, a student in the Dallas Independent School District, said making the initial cut was a ‘very odd’ feeling. “I’m nervous and excited and it’s kind of exhilarating.”

Dhroov Bharatia, who attends classes in the Plano ISD, said, “It’s not really about the result. And if I win this year, it’s about the journey.”

Dhroov’s journey saw him finish 4th in the National Spelling Bee last year. And there is a tremendous sense of pride, with the young man making it back to the stage again… but he isn’t patting himself on the back. Dhroov explained, “Whether it’s spelling, sports, or technology… for me, it’s always about improving and being able to reach my goal.”

Lindsey got the urge to compete in her school’s competition only a day before it was held. “I raised my hand and said ‘Can I sign up for the spelling bee?’ So, I ran down the hall full-speed so I wouldn’t miss the bus,” she recalled.

It was a whim that paid off, with Lindsey winning that round, the regional round, and going against the best of the best.

The young lady said she was not out to get a moral victory. “I am putting quite a bit of pressure of myself to hopefully win. It would mean a lot for me and my family and my friends.”

And just like the letters that make up the combination of words that will be facing these student, they don’t have to scramble financially to get to Washington D.C.  The Dallas Sports Commission, often attached to the biggest names and games in town, represents more than 30 Texas counties when it’s comes to the spelling bee. 

For each student that makes it to the national round, the Commission covers airfare for two, hotel accommodations, and provides daily spending money.  They also did this for three of the eight national co-champs in 2019, who were from DFW.

“We continue to believe in you and I think all of Dallas and all of North Texas is behind you and supporting you,” Monica Paul, the executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, told the students.

When asked what encouragement they would give to other young people to strive for success the youngsters spelled it out.  Dhroov said,”if you put your mind to something, and try as hard as you can and never give up, then you can accomplish it.”  Lindsey offered some sage advice that she says has been given to her. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Along with Dhroov, 6th grader Vivinsha Veduru — from Bear Creek Intermediate School in Keller — has qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She is sponsored by Texas Christian University.