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WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) — A seventh-grader who is a first-generation American has won the Winston-Salem Journal Regional Spelling Bee and will head to the national finals.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Nejat Alkadir won the bee, beating 31 other students. The student at Ledford Middle School in Davidson County spelled “suggestible” correctly to clinch the win and earn a trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C.

When Alkadir’s family arrived in the United States from Ethiopia, her mother barely spoke English. On Sunday, Alkadir went back and forth with second-place finisher Dharani Govindasamy of Guilford County until he tripped over “twoling.” That’s a type of crystal.

Alkadir’s father says he’ll buy her a cellphone as a reward.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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