Valente representing Picayune as semifinalist in State Geography Bee

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

Influences from Roman Valente’s parents led him to find a desire for geography. This passion stirred the 8th grade Picayune Junior High student to throw his hat into the 2017 Mississippi National Geographic State Bee competition just for fun. Now, Valente is a semifinalist competing to become Mississippi’s Geographic Bee champion.
“The topic of geography really appeals to me and it always has,” Valente said.
His interest in geography began at an early age as he was enchanted by stories from his parents, who were both born in Italy. Since then, studying geography and learning more about Europe became a hobby, Valente said.
“This started out as something I wanted to do just for fun, but now I really want to win,” he said.
Valente had to win the local competition before becoming a semifinalist, including a school bee consisting of 4th through 8th grade students. Once his scores came back, Valente was invited to the National Geographic Bee competition because he had one of the top scores in the state. The state competition will be held at Hinds Community College on March 31.
The winner of the state competition will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Mississippi in the National Geographic Bee Championship on May 14-17.
The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, including a subscription to the magazine and an all-inclusive Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands on the new National Geographic Endeavor II, according to the NGS release.

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