Las Vegas 13-year-old feels no pressure heading to Scripps National Spelling Bee
By Tricia Kean,2023-05-30
More than 200 young contestants from across the country are in the Washington, D.C. area this week for the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Two of them are proud to be representing Nevada.
Anchor Tricia Kean had a chance to meet them both.
"Dilapidated, 'D-I-L-A-P-I-D-A-T-E-D', dilapidated," Arren said.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
He says he has a list of words and is practicing as he counts down to his big moment in the spotlight.
"I spell and picture each letter in my mind. I don't really see the whole word unless it's a really long word. Then I feel like I have to try to picture the whole word," he said. "Psychiatry, 'P-S-Y-C-H-I-A-T-R-Y', psychiatry."
He's a 7th grader at St. Viator Parish School on Eastern Avenue just south of Flamingo Road.
"How hard is school for you? Do you have to work at it hard, or does it come naturally to you?" Tricia asked.
"A little bit of both. I guess learning the material comes kind of naturally to me. I pick up on things fast, but I still have to study," he said.
He loves playing chess and the piano, but what he really enjoys is reading. Arren says reading makes him a strong speller.
"Why is it important to you to read?" Tricia asked.
"It's important to me to read just because I really love seeing all the characters and stories that these authors go through the trouble of inventing," he said.
While he thrives in the classroom, it turns out the spotlight on the stage is his true passion. Arren hopes to one day be a professional actor.
"Probably Broadway, because I want to act live in front of an audience," he said.
When it comes to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, that may be why Arren doesn't really feel pressured about competing on a national stage.
"Do you know anything about the competition? Are you going into this blindly?" Tricia asked.
"Going into this completely blind," he said.
RELAXED & SUPPORTED
Arren seems totally relaxed and knows he has the full support of his older brother, sister and his parents.
"I believe whatever he puts his mind and heart into, he can do it," said Arren's Father, Ericson Feliciano.
"Just do your best and we love you no matter what," said Arren's Mother, Rubi Feliciano.
"We always tell him, just do your best. And whatever it is, it's good for us," says Mr. Feliciano.
"We're proud of you," says Mrs. Feliciano.
"No matter what," says Mr. Feliciano.