GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 13-year-old student from Rockford will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday.

Brady Bowers is a seventh grader at North Rockford Middle School.

“From what I’ve researched, I’m the first person from the Rockford school district to be here,” he said. “And knowing that a lot of people here are from private schools or non-public schools, being a representative of a public school is awesome.”

Bowers won several spelling bees to make it to Washington. At the Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee, he sailed to victory with the word “quadrilateral.”

At the national level, Bowers said, the words will be more challenging.

“Now the words are tougher, words I have not studied,” he said. “And these are all from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged. That means any word in the 500,000 words in that dictionary are fair game.”

According to Bowers, the secret to winning a spelling bee is “a lot of dedication (and) a lot of hard work.”

“If you get to this stage, know that you are already a champion,” Bowers said. “Even if you just win your school bee or your class bee, you’re already a champion.”