Akash Vukoti -Spelling his dream

By Dyuthi Raviprasada Alva

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“Be whoever you want at any age”

What is age? Is it the time right from the moment of birth to the present? If I were to add one more definition under this word, I would term it as the time that continuously showcases symptoms, and roots to unbelievable talents. Don’t believe me?

Okay, let me break this for you.

Instead of having a feeding bottle in his little hands, this child personality had a pencil in his hand and some spellings lingering in his mouth so early.

From being the youngest member of the Mensa Society to being a renowned spellebrity, Akash Vukoti is the most talented child prodigy globally. Having recognized his capability to memorise photographically, his parents strongly believe that God has given him numerous talents and he has given them the responsibility to nurture the budding talent in Akash.

Akash, born on 29th May 2009 is an Indian-American spelling bee champion. His parents noticed something different about Akash when he was barely 1 year old. Whenever this baby was taken to a library or a playground, he was not intrigued by anything but the books relating to alphabets and numbers or a ride on a number wheel! Another such scene, that proved that Akash was naturally inclined towards spelling and related stuff was when his uncle showed him a spoon and said “Spoon S-P-O-O-N”. Unexpectedly, tiny Akash repeated the spelling to everybody’s surprise and not only this, but after a week or so, he narrated the spelling again with ease. This forced his uncle as well as his parents to ponder over the fact, that he was gifted!

His mother (Chandrakala) is an engineer and his father (Krishna Vukoti) is a scientist who are a member of the Mensa Society (high IQ society) which is open to people who score at the 98th percentile or above in its entrance exam. His parents, originally from  Andhra Pradesh, India immigrated to America. They raised their children speaking English and this does not keep them away from their mother tongue Telugu. Akash can both read, write and speak in Telugu and he is also fluent in speaking Hindi. He also has an elder sister named, Amrita. Both Amrita and Akash, at a very early age were brought up in a scientific environment. Akash says, “My mother is my first and foremost teacher, as I never went to a school.” He says he is homeschooled.

At the age of 2, Akash excelled in three different languages and had already begun reading and writing and participated in his 1st spelling bee. 

At the age of 3 and 5, both Amrita and Akash became members of the Mensa Society with an IQ of 135 and 133 respectively. Akash later participated in his first spelling bee as a kid.

In 2016, he became the first-ever first grader to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship. He became a global sensation during that time. Though he was unable to spell his second word correctly, he definitely won the hearts of all the people for sure by showcasing his level of sportsmanship at such a tender age. That year, he was invited to Steve Harvey’s TV Show and the Little Big Shots. At the age of 5, Akash was inducted as one of the Davidson Young Scholar.

At such an age, Akash spelt the longest word without any hassle that is,

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. This became a global sensation during that time.

At the age of nine, Akash entered entirely unique and new stream, ie. ‘Dancing’. He inquisitively participated in “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors”. Akash was partnered with Kamri Peterson and their mentor was Witney Carson. They ranked sixth place.

In an interview, young Akash says to Steve that

his father is mad at him! Therefore now, he not only wanted to become an astronaut but also an AstroActor, yes obviously a culmination of both astronaut and an actor.

And yes! Akash did prove this too by acting in his first action thriller short film named “Harry Pollen and The Order Of The Letters” alongside other spellers. Recently he also got his YouTube channel, where he regularly uploads spelling related videos, other knowledge-based bites, some vlogs featuring Amrita and their parents etc. This channel roughly has 450K subscribers already!

He also won several prestigious awards including the Global Child Prodigy Award 2020 in the category of the spelling bee.

HBO and BBC documentaries have included Vukoti. Vukoti was featured in episode 231 of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, titled “Brain Games and Mental Athletes,” which aired on HBO on June 21, 2016. In the Human Body: Secrets of Your Life, a BBC documentary Vukoti’s skill was presented in the episode “Learn” of Revealed, which was broadcast on BBC Two on October 9, 2017.

He appears in the award-winning documentary Spelling the Dream, which will be available on Netflix in over 190 countries on June 3, 2020. The film has received good feedback from critics all over the world.

Not only that, but Akash has also donated to a number of non-profit organisations and lent a hand to those in need.

 For sure, this child’s personality will inspire many others. It will encourage and motivate the budding abilities to nurture and grow way far.

By Dyuthi Raviprasada Alva

Write and Win: Participate in Creative writing Contest & International Essay Contest and win fabulous prizes.

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