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Brookhaven student recognized for spelling bee victory

Amanti Hughes is a very special 13-year-old.   

His personality reflects a combination of deep creative insight and advanced technological skill, and, according to those who know him best, he is as driven as any person three times his age. 

Hughes is an active eighth-grader at Alexander Junior High, and, among other things, he plays saxophone in the school band. 

“I always try my hardest to accomplish things,” he said.

As part of his many achievements, Hughes recently won the Brookhaven citywide spelling bee. After two hours of competition and a great deal of nervous energy, he rose triumphant. 

The Brookhaven Housing Authority honored his victory with a celebratory check, commemorative proclamation and framed certificate Monday night. 

Housing director Maxine Jones said, “For us, Amanti shows our other young people that live in public housing that it doesn’t matter where you come from. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to.” 

Hughes credits his mother, Tequllia Bouie, for showing him the value of determination. He said her tenacity and encouragement have influenced his work ethic.

“My mom is my biggest supporter,” he said. 

He looks forward to starting high school in the fall and is excited about the fresh academic challenges awaiting him. He also loves to sing, and he is considering joining the school choir next year. 

Even though he’s still young, Hughes has already given thought to his future. Long-term, he wants to build a career in neurobiology. 

“I’ve started thinking about college. I really want to go to LSU,” said Hughes.

Hughes is an ambitious fellow, but he also knows how to have fun. Playing video games is his favorite way to unwind after a long day at school, and he enjoys electronics very much. 

“After neurobiology, my second career choice would be to work with technology,” he said. 

Hughes will compete in the district spelling bee tonight at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, and no matter the outcome, he hopes his hard work will inspire others to pursue their passions.

“My advice is to keep pursuing your dream. If you don’t accomplish it the first time, keep on trying,” he said.