Lakshay Sood, 14, the winner of this year’s New Mexico Geographic Bee, will have the honor of representing the state in the National Geographic Bee Championship this month in Washington, D.C.
Currently in eighth grade at Albuquerque Academy, Sood has won the state Geographic Bee five years in a row, becoming the first student in New Mexico to do so, and the only one in the nation to do so, according to a news release.
The Albuquerque City Council honored him in April.
As a fourth grader from Manzano Day School in 2015, he also holds the title for the youngest winner as a fourth grader at the state Geographic Bee, according to his mom.
The top bee winners from each school from fourth through eighth grades were selected to attend the New Mexico Geographic Bee competition that was held in Albuquerque at the National Dance Institute at the end of March.
As the winner of the New Mexico Bee, Sood was awarded $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. There he will join 53 other state and territory champions to compete at the 29th annual National Geographic Bee on May 19-22.
The champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society, and an all-expense paid trip to the Galápagos Islands, according to the news release.
Sood has said his love for geography stems from his passion for human cultural diversity.
He has traveled to 30 countries in three continents, mother Vanita Sood said. He can speak English, Spanish, and Hindi, and is learning French and German. His favorite city in the world is Venice, Italy, and he worries about global warming and consequent rise in sea level drowning the heritage city.