Paige participates in Operation US, a community-action program sponsored by the city of Santa Clarita which inspires kindness among children and teaches them about equality. She loves to cook Italian cuisine for her family. She also enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, and ice-skating. Her two Roborovski hamsters are named Fluffernutter and Miss Fluffykins. Paige wants to become a scientist.
Ramya is fascinated by linguistics and is eager to learn new languages. She is fluent in Tamil and is currently studying French, and she delights in finding connections between languages. She informally teaches Tamil to the children in her neighborhood. Ramya loves reading novels by Louisa May Alcott "because of the way simple ideas and stories are beautified in her works." Ramya's other hobbies include listening to music and bicycling.
Laura is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys swimming, fishing, canoeing, skiing, and skating. She takes lessons in ballet and synchronized swimming and appears in her school's annual musical. In her spare time Laura can be found reading manga on her computer. She enjoys pop music and would like to become a singer. Laura's sister, Leslie, participated in the 2006 national finals.
Talmage is active in Boy Scouts and has achieved Life rank. He enjoys judo and singing a cappella. Talmage is named after scientist and author James E. Talmage. Science happens to be his favorite subject, and he hopes to become a physicist one day. Talmage loves to quote movie lines—especially lines from his favorite movie, The Princess Bride. Talmage competed in the 2008 national finals.
Kennyi is a member of his school's Mathcounts team—a team that placed second in regional competition and also qualified for state competition. He plays clarinet in his school's band. Also, he loves to read: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is his favorite book. Kennyi participated in the 2007 and 2008 national finals and is well-known for conquering the giggles to correctly spell sardoodledom in the 2007 Bee.
Kavya enjoys practicing her violin, bicycling, swimming, and learning Indian classical dance. She names Nupur Lala, the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, as her role model and the inspiration for her spelling career. She has plans for her future career as well: She looks forward to becoming a neurosurgeon. Kavya participated in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 national finals—tying for 10th, 8th, and 4th place, respectively.
Sidharth enjoys competing. He participates in science fairs and plays competitive chess on his school's chess team. He is also on his school's soccer team. In his free time Sidharth likes to read or play tennis. An avid philatelist, he has collected multiple stamps and postage items from around the world. Sidharth enjoys all of his school courses, but he has the deepest appreciation for math and science. He would like to be a neurosurgeon. Sidharth placed second in the 2008 national finals.
Avvinash is passionate about sports. He plays basketball, football, and baseball and enjoys taking part in a good kickball game. He is a devoted fan of the Yankees and Celtics. Avvinash's best subject in school is history, and he would like to pursue a career in business. His sister, Anjithaa, participated in the 2007 national finals. This is Avvinash's third appearance in the national finals: He also competed in 2006 and 2008.
A Life Scout and assistant senior patrol leader in his Boy Scout troop, Zachary also serves as the secretary/treasurer of his local Order of the Arrow chapter. He is an advocate and volunteer for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and volunteers for the New York Blood Center as junior coordinator of the annual "Hike for Life" event. His summer pastime of choice is cheering for the New York Mets. Zachary tied for 17th place in the 2008 national finals.
Siraj's interests include academics, sports, and video games. He won his school's overall achievement award for academics in seventh grade. He is active in his school's history club and is the treasurer of its student council. In addition to holding a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, Siraj plays basketball and runs track and field.
Anamika takes private lessons in violin, Indian classical music, dance, and golf. She has won several regional and national awards in science, math, essay-writing, and vocabulary contests. Anamika aspires to attend Harvard Medical School, where she hopes to specialize in cardiovascular surgery. She would like to author books in her spare time.
Nicholas is a competitive, year-round swimmer in a USA Swimming club. Last summer he won the Tri-County championship in the 25-meter backstroke for 9–10 year olds. Nicholas is in his fifth year of violin instruction with Suzuki Music Columbus. He has also studied jazz improvisation, and he loves to fiddle. Nicholas is an avid collector and builder of anything Lego, and his favorite vacation spot is Legoland.
Connor has studied violin for five years, and his skill earned him a scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival School. He also enjoys composing music, skiing, traveling, and performing improvisational comedy. He holds a green belt in Tae Kwon Do. In his spare time Connor can be found working on authoring a series of five books or designing his own video games. He would like to turn one of these two hobbies into a career.