Kuvam Nirad Shahane, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at in Rochester Hills, is a contestant Wednesday in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland.
Kuvam is one of 12 Michigan students participating in the spelling competition. He is the only Rochester-area student.
Kuvam is speller No. 123 in the preliminary competition, which is broadcast live from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3.com. He is sponsored by The Oakland Press.
According to his profile page on the Scripps Spelling Bee website, "Kuvam excels in math and participates in math club at school. He placed second in the Michigan Math League and made the hall of fame in the Michigan National Math Pentathalon.
"While Kuvam aspires to have a career in medicine, he also would like to become an author. He enjoys reading, and his favorite book is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Kuvam’s other hobbies include chess and tennis. After school he plays baseball.
"Kuvam speaks the Marathi and Hindi languages and knows American Sign Language. He would love to meet Mahatma Gandhi because 'he freed an entire country and was inspirational to Martin Luther King Jr.'"